Click here or the image above to watch Ranking Member Capito’s remarks from the committee’s business meeting.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today voted in favor of the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, legislation she authored along with Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
The legislation authorizes key projects and studies to tackle water resources challenges across the country. The bill also makes important revisions to the Civil Works policies and programs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to increase the agency’s responsiveness to national and local priorities. The bill passed by a vote of 20-0.
Click here to view WRDA 2022 bill text.
Click here to view a WRDA 2022 section-by-section.
Click here to view a WRDA 2022 one-pager.
Click here to view WRDA 2022 West Virginia wins.
The committee also passed six General Services Administration (GSA) resolutions and favorably passed the nomination of Benny R. Wagner to be Inspector General of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman Carper, for calling this business meeting and for your commitment to continuing our bipartisan efforts.
“I’m very proud that we are here with our Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation today.
“As we know, Congress authorizes water resources projects and sets national policies for the Civil Works Program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The work of the Corps protects the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans and facilitates commerce throughout this country and internationally. If you look at the different projects, you can see the vastness of our nation displayed just throughout this bill.
“Since 2014, Congress has enacted WRDA legislation every two years, and I am thrilled that we reached a bipartisan agreement to continue that tradition of addressing our nation’s water resources needs.
“In addition to the chairman, I also want to thank Senators Cardin and Cramer for their leadership on the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“Your support and partnership during this process was integral to our reaching a solid agreement.
“I would also like to thank your staff, Mr. Chairman, for their diligence, professionalism, and commitment of many long hours throughout this process.
“Today proves once again the ability of this committee to develop bipartisan infrastructure legislation that addresses the needs of our members and the communities they represent.
“True to the Corps’ tradition, this bill moves forward projects that will benefit both local communities and the entire country.
“For example, we are authorizing a significant project for coastal storm risk management on the coast of Texas that will ensure critical port assets can continue to serve our country’s shipping and supply chain needs moving forward.
“This project will help mitigate the worst impacts of hurricanes for local communities, and it will also provide a vital corridor for our nation’s energy industry.
“As this committee heard during its oversight hearing on the Corps’ response to Hurricane Ida, when constructed, these coastal projects work to prevent the worst effects of storm damage and flooding.
“And while this bill is very much oriented toward advancing critical projects in our states, it also includes several policy changes that will help the Corps succeed better in its mission.
“At the beginning of this process, I outlined some of the areas in which I believed changes would be beneficial.
“I said we needed to ensure more effective delivery of projects and reduce the confusion some communities have experienced in dealing with the Corps.
“This bill includes several provisions that improve flexibility with regard to financial accounting for projects.
“It requires reporting on timelines for the environmental review process for projects.
“It authorizes for the first time a dedicated research and development account for the Corps to spur innovation, and provides contracting flexibility in undertaking these activities.
“It opens the sometimes black box of the Corps by bolstering the agency’s technical assistance authorities and providing a new advisory committee for non-federal interests to voice their opinions on how the Corps can better meet their water resources needs.
“The input of non-federal interests of the Corps is critical, and we preserve the integral role of non-federal cost share partners in the project delivery process by avoiding mandates from Washington D.C.
“In addition to my role as ranking member, I represent the great state of West Virginia, and I worked to address several of the needs of my home state and I would like to share a few highlights in this bill.
“This legislation advances a critical flood control project in the City of Milton, West Virginia.
“Authorized in the 1990s, this project is a long time coming and I am proud to have helped it move forward in recent years.
“The bill also supports flood control studies for the Kanawha River Basin and in the City of Huntington.
“And it continues to provide environmental infrastructure assistance to communities throughout the state.
“In closing, there is a lot in this bill for both sides of the aisle and for communities across the country.
“It is the culmination of a true bipartisan effort and represents our shared goal of addressing our nation’s water resources needs.
“I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.
“Today, we are also voting on other committee pending business, including a number of GSA resolutions and the nomination of Benny Wagner to serve as Inspector General of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“Thank you for your continued partnership, Chairman Carper, as we find ways to work together and get things done for our country.”
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