U.S. Representative Tim Bishop has been appointed to the newly formed House-Senate Conference Committee charged with producing consensus legislation to strengthen the nation’s port and inland waterway infrastructure and to spur job creation.
Mr. Bishop, the senior Democrat on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, helped draft the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or WRRDA, in partnership with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia, and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs of Ohio.
The bill is intended to improve the water infrastructure project “delivery process” and allow an increased commitment to maintaining ports and harbors. It also addresses a backlog of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects by de-authorizing outdated or unnecessary projects. Finally, it advances critical water infrastructure projects by approving pending Army Corps plans, according to a press release from Mr. Bishop’s office.
Mr. Bishop secured bipartisan support for WRRDA, which passed in the House with a 417-3 vote in October. The new conference committee aims to resolve differences between WRRDA and water infrastructure legislation previously passed in the Senate.
“The overwhelming support of water infrastructure legislation in the House proved that Congress can work together in a bipartisan way to find solutions to our nation’s challenges,” Mr. Bishop said in the release. “As a conferee, I am hopeful that we can build on this bipartisan momentum to craft a compromised plan with the Senate that will strengthen our nation’s waterways and create jobs.”
Once the conference committee agrees to a final measure, the House and Senate must approve the conference report before it can be sent to the president for his signature.