Bipartisan bill would reauthorize the EDA for first time in nearly 20 years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, along with EPW Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Chairman Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the first time in nearly 20 years. A business meeting has been scheduled to consider the legislation in Committee next week.

The Economic Development Reauthorization Act of 2024 makes key reforms to modernize EDA’s core programs and authorizes activities such as workforce development and disaster assistance. This bill would also authorize and update the laws pertaining to certain federal regional commissions, as well as establish two new regional commissions.

“The Economic Development Administration is a critical partner for many of our communities, helping to drive investment, create jobs, and grow local economies across West Virginia,” Ranking Member Capito said. “It is past time for Congress to reauthorize the EDA and I’m excited to partner with Chairman Carper, Senator Cramer, and Senator Kelly to introduce the bipartisan Economic Development Reauthorization Act of 2024. This legislation will help preserve locally-driven economic development decisions and ensure core programs that fund a range of activities, including infrastructure projects, will continue for years to come.”

“The Economic Development Administration is driving our nation’s job growth, building resilient supply chains, and investing in our local economies,” Chairman Carper said. “Reauthorizing the EDA will give this critical agency the tools and resources it needs to better support local businesses and organizations and equip our communities with climate-resilient infrastructure, in turn strengthening both local and regional job creation and our competitiveness abroad. I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their partnership in writing this legislation to empower the EDA for years to come.”

“Modernizing the Economic Development Administration’s mission and funding levels is Congress’ responsibility and long overdue. This bill provides critical updates to the agency’s programs and initiatives and will better support EDA’s mission to facilitate locally-driven economic growth. This reauthorization emphasizes hard infrastructure and workforce development while including specific reforms to benefit the small, rural communities across North Dakota,” Subcommittee Ranking Member Cramer said.

“From providing economic development opportunities in rural and tribal communities, onshoring critical manufacturing supply chains, and permanently authorizing Arizona’s Southwest Border Regional Commission, our bipartisan bill will help communities in every corner of the country thrive,” Subcommittee Chairman Kelly said. “In crafting this bill, I heard from Arizona mayors, county supervisors, economic development planners, and business leaders to ensure the Economic Development Administration meets the challenges and opportunities of the future. As chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I appreciate the work that went into this from Republicans and Democrats and look forward to seeing our bipartisan compromise get signed into law.”

A summary of the bill is available here.

A section by section of the bill is available here.

The full text of the bill is available here.

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