The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA) Oct. 23. The bill was approved unanimously by the bipartisan Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25) is a member.

The water resources bill speeds up, streamlines and consolidates studies and reviews, deauthorizes $12 billion of old, inactive projects, strengthens oversight, transparency and accountability, and strengthens water transportation networks to increase America’s competitiveness and economic growth.

“America’s aging infrastructure is a threat to a healthy national economy,” said Williams, who spoke on the House floor during debate.  “Thirteen million jobs rely on water infrastructure, and it’s up to Congress to ensure that America’s ports, waterways, and water systems remain the best in the world.  I applaud Chairman Shuster and my colleagues on the committee for their tremendous work and diligence.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, waterways and ports support 207,970 Texas jobs and directly contribute $34 billion to Texas’ economy.  Most notably for Texas, WRRDA authorizes funding for the deepening of the Sabine-Neches, where 100 million tons of cargo transit annually.  In a speech on the House floor, Williams said the Sabine-Neches Waterway is a major economic contributor to both Texas and America, providing $106 billion in revenue for our nation’s economy.

Among other Texas-related water projects, WRRDA also authorizes funds for the Freeport Harbor, a major seaport in the Gulf of Mexico.