Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO of Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI), issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address last night:
Waterways Council, Inc. and its members applaud President Obama’s urging of Congress to pass a Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) this year, and his connecting the nation’s waterways to jobs in the State of the Union address last night.
In the address, the President remarked, “Moreover, we can take the money we save from this transition to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes – because in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure. We’ll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. That can happen.”
Modernizing our nation’s waterways transportation system in a way that is fair and equitable to our manufacturers, farmers and shippers will result in the creation and sustainment of American jobs, increased exports, and billions of dollars injected into a still-lagging U.S. economy. Failure to invest in the waterways and transportation infrastructure will risk America’s competitive advantage in world marketplaces.
As always, WCI remains committed to work further with the Administration and Congress toward a final water resources bill that can include the elements of the RIVER Act in the Senate and the WAVE 4 bill in the House to offer comprehensive capital investment to our nation’s inland waterways system. Both the Senate-passed WRDA and House-passed WRRDA are strong bills that the Conference Committee should be able to reconcile quickly to be signed into law.