Congressman Rodney Davis

Representing the 13th District of Illinois

Davis, Bustos Bill to Promote Public-Private Partnerships for Lock & Dam Modernization included in House WRRDA

Sep 11, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s water infrastructure though public-private partnerships, which was introduced in the U.S. House by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), has been included in the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA).

“Our region’s waterways, chief among them the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, are absolutely critical to the economic well-being of the entire country,” said Davis. “But the infrastructure of these rivers is in serious need of improvement. Our legislation, included in the House WRRDA, will help us to fulfill our responsibility to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, and by upgrading our locks and dams, we can ensure that the Mississippi River and other Illinois waterways will be reliable arteries to move goods and services for years to come.”

“I’m pleased to announce that our bipartisan, common sense bill to help modernize our region's aging locks and dams has been included in today’s Water Resources Reform and Development Act,” said Bustos. “Improving our locks and dams is an absolute necessity to keep our local economy moving forward, but we can't afford to wait decades for these improvements to take place.  To help jump-start these needed repairs and upgrades, I joined with Senators Durbin and Kirk and Congressman Davis to introduce legislation that would save taxpayer money while creating jobs and boosting the economy of communities across Illinois.  I'm encouraged the House has included key provisions of our bill in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act and look forward to continuing to move this legislation forward.”

The Davis-Bustos language authorizes the creation of a pilot program that would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to identify 15 water resources development projects eligible to be financed through public-private partnerships. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and was included in the Senate version of WRDA which passed in May.

H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), was introduced on Wednesday, September 11, in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W. Va.), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.).

Through WRRDA, Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its missions to develop, maintain, and support the Nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs.  Historically, Congress has passed such legislation every two years to provide clear direction to the Administration and the Corps, but no bill has been signed into law since 2007.