Washington, D.C.– The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today applauded Congress for successfully overriding President Bush's veto of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA), legislation that will authorize investing $23 billion in civil works projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"This week's veto override means that this nation will finally have the opportunity for new investments in improved flood control, increasing navigation capacity and ecosystem restoration," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.
AGC played a central leadership role in the passage and veto override of the largest civil works bill in the nation's history and hailed the Congress for its willingness to stand up and recognize the need for investment in our nation's water resources.
"In order to maintain our economic competitiveness and national security, we must be willing to make the necessary investments in our critical infrastructure," Sandherr commented. "The seven-year gap in reauthorizing WRDA and the increasing need to invest in our nation's water resources accounts for the $23.2 billion in project authorizations. This figure represents a small down payment toward covering the nation's staggering waterways investment gap."
WRDA contains several AGC-backed provisions to improve how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prioritizes projects and how they will be developed in the future.
Sandherr added, "Hurricane Katrina should be a lesson to us all: we must invest now or suffer the consequences later. These are projects that will determine whether dams and levees are secure, whether water resources for this nation are available and whether we do important environmental restoration to mitigate the impacts of catastrophic storms."
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 32,000 firms, including 7,000 of America's leading general contractors, and over 11,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org. AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life."