Water Resources Development Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: June 7, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in strong support of H.R. 7776, the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, or WRDA 2022.

Mr. Speaker, 3 weeks ago we advanced this bipartisan legislation out of committee by voice vote, and I am proud to continue the bipartisan tradition of passing a WRDA bill every 2 years--as the chairman pointed out--something we have done since 2014.

I thank Chairman DeFazio, Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Napolitano, and Ranking Member Rouzer for all of their hard work and support in getting this legislation across the finish line here in the House.

WRDA 2022 authorizes water infrastructure projects and policies that are critical to local communities, but also provides far-reaching benefits to both the region and our national economy.

With the current supply chain crisis and surging inflation our country faces, it is more important than ever that Congress continues to support our Nation's water infrastructure that keeps our economy moving and protects our communities.

WRDA 2022 supports American competitiveness and our economy by ensuring the reliability and the effectiveness of our Nation's ports and inland waterways to move American goods and products to those who need them.

This legislation also boosts flood production for our local communities, such as those in Missouri's Sixth District, which is my own district.

In Missouri, we are at a crossroads of the largest rivers in the country--the Missouri River and the Mississippi River. These rivers are an invaluable natural resource that provide drinking water, irrigation, and transportation; however, they can also be the source of some very devastating flooding.

My constituents are still working to recover and rebuild their homes, farms, businesses, and their communities after devastating flooding that occurred in 2019.

I know all too well the consequences when water resources are mismanaged, which is why WRDA 2022 is going to ensure that the Corps remains focused on its core missions and priorities and activities like flood control and navigation.

To do this, this bill contains assistance for meeting levee inspection requirements, it examines ways to control erosion on our rivers, and it supports Missouri flood control projects.

These and other provisions in WRDA 2022 are going to provide benefits not only to Missourians, but citizens all across the country who depend on water resources and infrastructure in their daily lives.

Mr. Speaker, I thank everybody for their support in developing this legislation, and that includes staff on both sides of the aisle.

Specifically, on my team, I acknowledge the work of my staff director, Paul Sass, for his leadership of the Republican staff on this bill, and many other important bills for that matter, over the last 3\1/2\ years.

At the end of this week, Paul will be leaving the committee after more than 20 years of public service on Capitol Hill--and all of that time working for me in my personal office or on my committee staff. I thank him for his dedication and his guidance and friendship over the last two decades. He has a lot to be proud of as he moves forward onto the next chapter of his career. He can look back and be proud of all that he has done. I wish him and his family nothing but the best.


Mr. GRAVES of Missouri.

Miss GONZALEZ-COLON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the leadership and ranking member for allowing all the amendments and the language included in this bill.

WRDA has always been key for infrastructure development projects in all our States and territories, and this year's bill will not be the exception. This has been a cornerstone in the process of Puerto Rico's recovery, and this legislation enables it to continue to do so.

This bill includes the reauthorization of three major flood risk management projects in Puerto Rico: Rio Guanajibo in Mayaguez, Rio Nigua in Salinas, and Rio Grande de Loiza in Gurabo, that had waited for funding, in some cases, for over a decade, to the point that the original authorizations had to be withdrawn and new validation studies required.

The projects had later received funding for at least their initial stages after passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, but needed this reauthorization so their development can continue with the planning and design, the allocated funding is protected from loss, and updated project needs can be addressed in the future so they can move on construction.

So by advancing this legislation containing these provisions, this House demonstrates its commitment to our communities. I look forward for the approval of this bill. And again, I thank all the staff and leadership and the ranking member for allowing all these amendments.

Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Malliotakis).


Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, can I inquire as to time remaining?


Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. And the time for the other side?

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 7776, or WRDA 2022, is a very good bipartisan piece of legislation that will improve flood control infrastructure. It is going to improve ports, harbors, and inland waterways all across the country.

This bill provides the support and the investment in our country's water infrastructure needed to keep our supply chain moving and boost the competitiveness of the American economy.

When it comes right down to it, this bill is a projects bill that was pulled together based off requests from Members from all across the country in the House on both sides of the aisle, and there isn't a single line in this bill that cannot be attributed to an individual Member request.

I again thank my colleagues and the members of the committee for coming together to develop this bipartisan legislation. Again, I thank the chairman for his work.

Mr. Speaker, I urge support of this important piece of legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.