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TTD Supports Passage of WRDA 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20515 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20515 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20510 

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20510 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to act to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 during the remaining days of the 116th Congress. This legislation provides funding for critical water infrastructure projects, invests in our ports and harbors, and supports thousands of middle class jobs.

The passage of a robust water resources bill continues to be a necessary component in the fight to keep pace with the evolving needs of U.S. ports and harbors. Increases in both the size of shipping vessels and cargo volume continue to strain capacity nationwide, and estimates suggest that the seaport industry will require $66 billion in infrastructure investment over the next decade. Proper maintenance and modernization of our maritime infrastructure—including dredging and deepening of harbors and channels—is vital to U.S. global competitiveness. This legislation provides the investments needed to foster growth in the seaport industry and broader economy.

We are particularly supportive of WRDA 2020’s inclusion of a long-awaited budgetary fix to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. Today, approximately $9 billion sits unused in the Fund, despite the unmet financial needs of projects across the nation. This legislation would permit this idle money to be “spent out” on these necessary projects as intended, instead of simply accruing in the Fund, or worse, being diverted to other purposes unrelated to port and harbor maintenance.

While the bill does not include action to make permanent 100% American Iron and Steel requirements for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, we look forward to working with Congress to secure the inclusion of this critical priority in future legislation.

TTD strongly supports WRDA 2020 and its long-term investments in our nation’s water infrastructure, and we urge you to ensure its passage.

Sincerely,

Greg Regan
Secretary-Treasurer

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