Shuster, Graves applaud Congressional approval of water resources infrastructure bill

The House and Senate approved a far-reaching water infrastructure bill that included the Water Resources Development Act led by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), legislation that supports the shipment of more than $230 billion of cargo on inland waterways annually. The House approved the measure on Thursday by a vote of 360-61 and the Senate passed the bill late Friday evening by a vote of 78-21.

The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, or S. 612, would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to advance port and harbor infrastructure, waterway and flood prevention efforts across the nation.

Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the bill is a win for the United States economy.

“The improvements in the WIIN Act are critical regional priorities, like the long-overdue upgrades for the Upper Ohio River’s Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery locks and dams, but they also provide significant national economic benefits,” Shuster said.

“An efficient transportation network is what makes our economy run, and ensuring America’s water infrastructure is brought into the 21st century will grow the economy, strengthen our competitiveness, and create jobs,” he added.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, worked to include flood protection and inland waterway system improvement projects in the bill.

“Northern Missouri has the unique advantage of being surrounded by the two longest rivers in the United States,” Graves said. “It gives us some of the most fertile agricultural land in the country, and an opportunity for local farmers, manufacturers and small businesses to ship their goods across the world. But it also means our safety and economic well-being depend on effective river management.”

Shuster praised Graves for being a national leader on river issues.

“With the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers surrounding his district, no one has fought harder for this country’s water infrastructure than Sam Graves,” Shuster said. “He’s worked to ensure life-saving flood protection for Missouri communities, and he’s pushed to improve the maintenance of inland waterways that are critical to farmers and manufacturers across the Midwest.”