Opening remarks, as prepared, of Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC) from today’s hearing entitled, “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Administration Priorities”:
Thank you, Chair Napolitano. I appreciate you holding this hearing, and I would also like to thank our witnesses for testifying today. Today’s hearing marks the public kick-off phase of the House of Representatives’ portion of the drafting of a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) for 2022. This is one of the most important pieces of legislation that we do here on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Every day, people across our country read stories and hear news reports about how Washington is broken. However, the WRDA process is something that works and one of the reasons why I look forward to this year. Since 2014, Congress has passed a WRDA bill every two years. These have not only been consistent but also bipartisan. In fact, WRDA 2020 passed the House by voice vote.
One thing we hear frequently from those who depend on these bills is how thankful they are that we work together in a bipartisan manner and do so going through regular order. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle here on the Committee and the full House to keep this institutional tradition intact.
Throughout this process, we will hear from folks all over the country representing a wide variety of interests. However, it makes sense to hear first from those who actually direct and do the work: the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
There are several ways that the Corps and the Assistant Secretary help Congress develop a water resources bill. Perhaps most notable among them are the individual “chiefs reports” for projects and the annual 7001 report, named after the section of WRDA 2014 that required an annual project list to be provided to Congress that represents non-federal entity input into the Corps process. I look forward to hearing from the Assistant Secretary and the Chief of Engineers on these reports and to discuss best moves forward with the 2022 WRDA.
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