Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor,in support of the nomination of R.D. James to serve as assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of R.D. James to serve as assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

“The assistant secretary establishes policy direction and provides leadership for the Civil Works Program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“In this position, Mr. James will play a central role in ensuring the navigability of America’s ports and inland waterways.

“He is going to oversee the Army Corps’ flood and storm risk management – and responses to emergencies like the hurricanes we saw in Florida and Texas this past fall.

“Mr. James will also play a central role in modernizing America’s aging water infrastructure.

“This month, the Committee on Environment and Public Works – which I chair – has held two hearings on the needs and challenges facing America’s water infrastructure.

“These hearings are important steps as the committee works towards a new Water Resources Development Act which will be reauthorized this year.

“It is critical to have Mr. James confirmed, so he can be a partner in this important process.

“I look forward to working with Mr. James on projects and issues that are important to my home state of Wyoming.

“He has already committed to me that he will work to find a permanent solution to preventing ice jam floods - like those that caused the Big Horn River to flood the city of Worland, Wyoming.

“There is no reason his confirmation should be delayed any further.

“His nomination was unanimously approved by voice vote in both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.

“Mr. James is well qualified for this position.

“He has served as a Civil Engineer Member of the Mississippi River Commission since 1981. That’s 37 years.

“He was appointed to that position by both Democrat and Republican presidents.

“Mr. James is also an accomplished farmer and businessman.

“He is experienced, qualified, and ready to start.

“It’s time for the Senate to confirm his nomination.”

Background Information:

On December 6, 2017, the EPW Committee held a hearing on James’ nomination.

On December 13, 2017, the EPW Committee advanced James’ nomination at a business meeting.