Washington, DC – Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in support of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 being considered today in the House of Representatives:
“The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 is the kind of bipartisan legislation needed to create and sustain middle-class jobs and make critical investments in key segments of our transportation infrastructure.
“This bill builds on the funding and project stability offered by previous WRDA bills and will facilitate the efficient movement of waterborne freight commerce. We commend Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio for once again working together to craft and move commonsense legislation that will support our transportation network.
“As critical as the funding and projects authorized in this legislation are, we are disappointed that House rules have once again been used to keep bipartisan Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) reforms out of WRDA. These necessary reforms would end the practice of allowing Trust Fund dollars to be used on unrelated and miscellaneous projects, and instead ensure these dollars are spent on their intended purpose — improving ports and harbors.
“As Post-Panamax megaships become the new norm in international shipping, the ability to efficiently, effectively accommodate these vessels and the sustained increased cargo volume they bring is a must.
“As the House and Senate look to reconcile their versions of WRDA, we encourage lawmakers to support the Senate’s proposal to permanently require that Drinking Water State Revolving Fund projects use 100 percent American-made steel and iron in water infrastructure projects. This commonsense measure promotes domestic manufacturing by ensuring taxpayer dollars are used to create good jobs here in the U.S.
“We encourage lawmakers to pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 and look forward to working with Congress to finalize a water resources bill that promotes good jobs, a healthy economy, and strong maritime, port, and construction sectors this year.”