U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of the Conference Committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), made the following statement today as the conference committee convened.

"Chairman Boxer and I made the WRDA bill a top priority this year and put it on the fast track because it's one of the single most significant pieces of infrastructure legislation that we'll vote on this year," Vitter said. "We have the opportunity to reform the Corps of Engineers, streamline flood protection projects, improve our waterways and infrastructure, and appropriately allocate funding for projects to maintain our ports and harbors all in one bill. This is a huge benefit to the entire nation that is estimated to create up to 500,000 new jobs."

WRDA passed the Senate 83 to14 in March. It passed the House 417 to 3 in September.

The Senate version
includes project acceleration provisions that ensure important water infrastructure projects are processed in an efficient manner and also makes reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.