What is it?
This Act is water infrastructure legislation that deals with
ports, levees, and environmental protections, among other water infrastructure issues. New water infrastructure legislation has not been passed since 2007, and the House and Senate,
in this bill, have agreed to legislation that is earmark-free. The
original Senate version of the bill is here; it’s since been amended, and now
the House and Senate have matching legislation. Notably, the bill de-authorizes
$18 billion worth of projects that were greenlighted in the 2007 bill but never implemented.
The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
offers a print overview and a ~2 ½ minute video explaining the bill here. The video is narrated by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). (No mention of whether
or not he is also illustrating.)
If enacted, the bill would provide funding for a range of water infrastructure projects while at the same time removing old water infrastructure projects from the docket. This legislation would also shift project selection oversight away from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and to Congress.
The CBO "estimates that implementing [the Act] would cost about $3.5 billion over [the] 2014-2018 period. Spending would continue for authorized projects after 2018, and CBO estimates that such spending would total $4.7 billion over the 2019-2023 period."
Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014
To provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes.