House Passes Water Resources Legislation
On July 29, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 7575, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020
, by voice vote. The bill authorizes projects to improve America’s ports and harbors, inland waterway navigation, flood and storm protection, and other water resources infrastructure.
H.R. 7575 authorizes construction of 34 projects studied and approved by the Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) since WRDA 2018 was signed into law. Additionally, the bill authorizes 35 new Corps of Engineers feasibility studies and directs the Corps to expedite the completion of 41 ongoing studies.
APWA issued a letter of support for the bill prior to passage. In the letter, APWA asks that H.R. 7575 be merged with elements of other legislation to further enhance water infrastructure. By combining this bill with Senate legislation on water infrastructure
, as well as elements from H.R. 2, the INVEST in America Act
, the overall package would be a tremendous step in finding solutions for our nation's water infrastructure problems.
There has not been a schedule set for either of these bills to be considered on the floor of the Senate. Given that both passed the Committee with no opposition, it is likely they would be approved by the full Senate.
Once both the House and Senate pass the various pieces of legislation (H.R. 2, H.R. 7575, S. 3590, and S. 3591), the bills will likely be merged into a conference committee to encompass all of the water related provisions. Once done, the unified bill will be sent back to the House and Senate for approval, and then to the President for his signature.