The House is expected to begin debate as early as today on the Farm Bureau-backed Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (H.R. 8). The bipartisan bill authorizes improvements to the nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration and other water resources infrastructure.
An efficient and reliable inland waterway system linked to competitive ports is vital to America’s ability to provide affordable agricultural products domestically and to compete internationally, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“Over 60 percent of America’s grain exports and many other important commodities such as fuel, coal and agricultural inputs also move through our inland waterway system. Due to this importance, Farm Bureau policy explicitly supports the maintenance and improvement of our transportation infrastructure including the locks and dams system and other waterway infrastructure,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter to House members urging them to vote in favor of the bill.
The construction, dredging and repairs WRDA authorizes will help ensure the reliability of the most affordable, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable mode of transporting agricultural products.
House members’ support for WRDA will “put America’s inland waterways and port infrastructure on a solid and sustainable foundation to contribute to U.S. economic growth, jobs and global competitiveness for generations to come,” Duvall said.
Lawmakers have filed more than 100 amendments to WRDA. The House Rules Committee will determine which of them will be considered during floor debate.