WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2018:
“Today the House passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This WRDA bill strengthens flood protection projects that are so critical to protecting Louisiana families and communities, and also reinforces Louisiana’s economic stability. Working together with other Members of our delegation, we were able to provide further reforms to the Corps of Engineers and elevate the priority of important flood and navigation projects throughout south Louisiana. As a leading export state and a top oil and gas producer, the strength and durability of our ports, waterways, and coastline is critical to protecting our communities, as well as strengthening our role in the global economy. I’m proud to see Congress reinforcing the need of critical infrastructure investment and removing bureaucratic red tape that is currently preventing local projects from being built and maintained. This House-passed WRDA bill is a strong step in the right direction to make government more effective, affordable, and accountable to the people we represent.”
The 2018 House WRDA bill includes a number of provisions that reform the Corps of Engineers, strengthen flood protection, and improve waterway navigation in Louisiana’s First District, including:
- Approves three Scalise amendments, included in the adopted manager’s amendment, to help expedite the review of studies vital to Louisiana’s economy, including projects to deepen the Houma Navigational Canal, Baptiste Collette Bayou, and Bayou Lafourche waterways.
- Authorizes a study to evaluate flood risk reduction in St. Tammany Parish.
- Requires the Corps to develop a more transparent and efficient process in mitigation banking and wetland restoration.
- Streamlines regulatory reviews to prevent the Corps of Engineers from studying local flood control and navigation projects to death.
- Empowers state and local governments to begin investing their own funds to accelerate permitting and construction activities.
- Authorizes a study to evaluate the efficiency and productivity of the Corps of Engineers’ current organizational structure within the Department of Defense.
- Requires the Corps to provide Congress a report on the comprehensive construction backlog and delayed maintenance of aging projects nationwide, including critical projects in Louisiana.