President Obama is expected to sign into law H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which would authorize an array of large-scale federal water infrastructure projects including port improvements, environmental restorations and more than 20 new Army Corps of Engineers projects.
WRRDA, the product of compromise between a select group of Senators and Representatives, had overwhelming bipartisan support, sailing through the House with a vote of 412-4 and the Senate with a vote of 91-7. This is the first water resources bill to be signed into law in over 7 years: a rare example of cohesion in an otherwise fragmented and disjointed U.S. Congress.
In addition, WRRDA would create a Water Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (P3) program that expands the use of P3s and allows the private sector to fund portions of public projects to ease the financial burden of taxpayers. In January, ABC sent a letter
to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee encouraging the conference to support the expansion of P3s, which would benefit all parties involved by helping to embrace a new, innovative and potentially cost-saving financing option.
“ABC has been an adamant supporter of P3s and their innovative methods to improve our nation’s infrastructure. P3s are not a magic bullet to solve the infrastructure funding gap or pay for every public project, but they can help otherwise stalled projects get off the shelf and turn into fruition,” said ABC Vice President of Government Affairs Geoff Burr. “ABC will continue to support public policies that help to grow the American economy and give our members an opportunity to bid for work in a competitive marketplace.”