Barletta Applauds Passage of Another Significant House Infrastructure Bill

Jun 6, 2018
Press Release
Urges the Senate to act on WRDA and DRRA to strengthen America’s infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) voted for H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA), a bipartisan bill that provides for continued investment in our nation’s water infrastructure, including ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, and ecosystem restoration.  WRDA passed the House by a highly bipartisan vote of 408 to 2 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“Infrastructure is the backbone of America,” Barletta said.  “You don’t have to live close to a major waterway to benefit from strong water infrastructure – the strength of this system has an impact on everyone across the Commonwealth, from the cost of items on the shelf at your local store to providing thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs across Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvanians deserve strong, effective water infrastructure that protects their homes from the threat of floods, supports good-paying jobs, and boosts the economy at the local, state, national, and global levels.  WRDA does just that, and as a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I want to thank Chairman Shuster for his leadership in getting this major bipartisan infrastructure package through the House.”

Approved unanimously by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on May 23, 2018, H.R. 8 authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study and undertake infrastructure enhancements that strengthen the U.S. economy.  Thousands of jobs depend on the economic activity of Pennsylvania’s ports and waterways, and an efficient national water transportation system will ensure the Commonwealth is able to compete in an increasingly global economy.

Importantly, WRDA also ensures that the Corps can continue protecting American communities from flooding.  Currently, the Corps operates and maintains approximately 700 dams in the United States, and over 14,000 miles of levees are in the Corps’ Levee Safety Program.  This infrastructure protects millions of Americans and over a trillion dollars’ worth of property.  Nationally, every dollar we invest in flood protection provides eight dollars in economic benefit, proving how vital these investments in our ports, locks, dams, and flood prevention systems are.

Previously, in April 2018, Barletta’s Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) also passed the House.  A bipartisan effort to address disaster recovery in the U.S., DRRA implements broad reforms at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), increasing the federal emphasis on pre-disaster planning and mitigation, which will reduce the potential for future loss of life and address the rising costs of disasters throughout America. 

Barletta, who is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee, has long been an advocate for investing in pre-disaster mitigation.  Mitigation can encompass a wide variety of activities, including proactive preparation and planning, elevating or moving structures prone to flooding, and hardening structures to mitigate effects of hurricanes or earthquakes.  Local infrastructure projects like the flood wall in Bloomsburg demonstrate how investment made before disaster strikes is critical to saving lives and taxpayer dollars.

Additional information on DRRA can be found here.

Additional information about WRDA can be found here.