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Prior to the House Republicans’ introduction of their version of a water infrastructure bill, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) used a whiteboard Tuesday to explain to Americans why the new bill had been crafted, according to a report from The Hill.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which was unveiled Wednesday, would reauthorize federal waterways funding for the first time in six years. The bill contains authorization for waterways spending, but the congressional appropriations committees would still need to approve funding. (The bill’s full text is available here.)
In the video released by the committee, Shuster did not discuss how he might handle the earmark ban.
Shuster’s focus was instead on the importance of investing in ports and waterways.
“Our ports and waterways are essential to our way of life,” Shuster said. “So essential, we sometimes take them for granted. Did you know that 99 percent of the goods we create, sell, import and ship around the world go through our nation’s bustling seaports? That’s about $1.4 trillion worth of goods every year.”
Shuster added that the bill, if passed, would reform the regulatory process.
“We are literally studying our infrastructure to death,” he said. “With strong reforms, we can shorten the review time to three years, and that’s exactly what this bill does. It also puts a cap on how much we can spend on these studies. In short, it reviews the way our government does business.”
Shuster concluded with an explanation on why it is time to pass a new water infrastructure bill.
“I urge you to support strong water infrastructure not just because it’s critical to trade or because it keeps prices low, but because it keeps the United States competitive, strong and creates the jobs we need,” Shuster said.
Check out the video above to see Shuster’s demonstration in its entirety.