Authorizes Dozens of Army Corps Projects
On July 29, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the AGC-backed Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (H.R. 7575), which would authorize investment in 34 new Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works construction projects. Both the Senate (S. 3591) and House versions of WRDA adjust the cost-share from 50% for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)/50% General Revenues to 35% IWTF/65% General Revenues, which could potentially provide $1 billion in additional construction funds over 10 years. This important reform will assist local governments which are expected to have less revenue due to economic impact of COVID-19. The House version provides the authority to appropriate additional funds for harbor maintenance from the existing balance of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), which is approximately $10 billion. However, the House bill also includes a new Buy America requirement for domestically-sourced aluminum on Corps projects.
In May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA). The full Senate has yet to consider AWIA. The House T&I Committee leaders signaled optimism that an agreement could be reached between the House and Senate’s bills later this year.
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