Westerman Opening Statement from Water Resources, Environment Hearing

January 9, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released the following written statement during a Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee hearing, titled, “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020”:

“The Corps of Engineers constructs projects critical to the nation for the purposes of navigation, flood control, shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, environmental protection, restoration and enhancement and fish and wildlife mitigation.

“Today we will review the 16 Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Reports that have been delivered to Congress since WRDA [Water Resources Development Act] 2018 was signed into law in October of 2018. This is the same number of projects authorized by that bill, with more to be received later this year. These reports are the result of a rigorous planning and review process. Each project was proposed by non-federal interests in cooperation and consultation with the Corps. All of these reports, while tailored to meet locally-developed needs, have national economic and environmental benefits. When constructed, Corps projects ensure that communities are protected from floods, and that our nation remains globally competitive through a reliable and efficient port and inland waterway system.

“Today we will also review the 2019 Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development. The Annual Report enables non-federal interests to submit to the Corps proposed feasibility studies, and modifications to projects and other program authorities. Required by Section 7001 of the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act, the Annual Report enables state and local entities to send up projects critical to their communities and provides another avenue for congressional consideration and authorization. 

“This hearing today is an important step in Congress’s oversight of the Corps Civil Works program, and the reports reviewed today will serve as the foundation for the Water Resources Development Act this Committee will consider later this year.

“Finally, General Semonite, I understand this could be your last time before this committee in your current capacity. I want to thank you for your years of service, your considerable effort to drive accountability and efficiency within the Corps, and your dedication to the nation.”

Click here to watch Westerman’s full statement.