October 23, 2013
Congressman Walter B. Jones Press Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) voted against H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA). The bill would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spend over seven billion dollars on construction of 23 new water infrastructure projects, despite the fact that the Corps does not have enough money to maintain existing projects or to construct the over 60 billion dollars in projects that Congress has already authorized in prior legislation.
The bill also contained two provisions that could harm Eastern North Carolina in the future. One would set up a process that would likely result in deauthorization of the Oregon Inlet jetty project. The second could limit the ability of states like North Carolina to contribute funds to the Corps for dredging of coastal inlets.
“The truth is Uncle Sam cannot afford to maintain the projects he has already built,” said Congressman Jones. “We see that every day in the Third District. The federal government has almost completely stopped paying for maintenance dredging of coastal inlets in North Carolina and across this nation. As a result, many of these waterways are shoaling badly, and the communities that depend on them are significantly impacted. This bill would worsen that problem by authorizing the government to borrow another seven billion dollars from China to build even more projects that would then compete with existing projects like the Oregon Inlet for a rapidly shrinking pool of federal waterway maintenance dollars. It just does not make sense.”
The House will now go to conference with the Senate, where differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill will be resolved.
For additional information, please contact Sarah Howard in Congressman Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415.