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H.R. 8: Water Resources Development Act of 2018

On Passage of the Bill in the House

Passed · Jun 6, 2018 at 9:32 p.m. ET · Source: house.gov

This was a vote to pass H.R. 8 in the House.

H.R. 8 authorizes Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) civil works activities and builds on previous reform efforts to ensure improvements are made to the Nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure. This bill is the third WRDA since 2014, returning regular congressional oversight to the Corps Specific provisions of the bill are below.

Title I eliminates barriers to project delays and improves the utility of the contributed and advanced funds provisions from previous WRDA laws by ensuring the Corps may accept funds from non-federal sponsors to advanced studies and project elements. The Title maintains reforms that have allowed for greater local participation in project selection and directs the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the current organizational structure of the Corps’ civil works functions, identify impediments to efficient project delivery, and provide recommendations to Congress.

Title I also improves oversight and transparency by requiring the Secretary to support greater awareness of the Corps’ annual report and requires the Corps to directly engage stakeholders in the development of implementation guidance. Additionally, it reauthorizes both the Levee Safety Initiative and the National Dam Safety Program through 2023 to help protect American communities from flooding.

Title II authorizes feasibility studies for water resources development projects which have been submitted to Congress under the WRRDA 2014 7001 process and vetted by the Committee. A full list can be found in Section 201. The Title authorizes additional feasibility studies for projects on the Lower Mississippi River and the St. Louis Riverfront. Finally, the Title directs the Secretary to expedite completion of ongoing feasibility studies for 20 projects.

Title III directs the Secretary to identify $3 billion in water resources development projects authorized by Congress that are no longer viable for construction. The final list of projects is deauthorized unless Congress passes a joint resolution of disapproval. Title III sunsets inactive project authorizations to prevent future project backlogs.

Title III also authorizes modifications to existing projects in Harbor/South Bay, California; Lakes Marion and Moultrie, South Carolina; Milwaukee Harbor, Wisconsin; and Bridgeport Harbor, Connecticut. Further, the Title makes necessary conveyances of property and addresses ongoing projects in Clatsop County, Oregon, Kissemmee River Restoration, Florida, Lytle and Cajon Creeks, California, and Yuba River Basin, California.

Title IV authorizes 9 new projects to improve navigable systems, strengthen flood-risk management, provide hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, and restore the environment in Texas, New York, Hawaii, Florida, New Mexico, Georgia, and Kentucky.

Finally, H.R. 8 reaffirms that WRDA should be considered by Congress every two years.

The Rules Committee Print strikes section 102 of the bill to ensure compliance with the Rules of the House and the Congressional Budget Act.

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure provided the following highlights of H.R. 8.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Aye 96%
 
 
408
227
 
181
 
No 0%
 
 
2
2
 
0
 
Not Voting 4%
 
 
17
5
 
12
 
Simple Majority Required

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Key: R Aye D Aye R No
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Notes: The Speaker’s Vote? “Aye” or “Yea”?
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