Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct, operate, and maintain projects that improve our ports and waterways. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“Mr. Speaker, this is how we ought to work. This is how the Congress ought to work with one another – all 435 of us. I don't mean that 435 are going to vote for the bill, but we have worked together on this bill. And I want to congratulate the Chairman, Mr. Shuster, whose father would be proud of him and acted in the same way, working together to make things happen for America in a bipartisan way – and I want to congratulate Mr. Shuster, Congressman Shuster, brother Shuster, I can say. And I want to congratulate Nick Joe Rahall from West Virginia who has been such an expert on the areas of building America and growing our economy, and I want to thank also Dr. Tim Bishop from Long Island, who has worked so hard on this particular piece of legislation.
“As I’ve said many times, Mr. Speaker, from this Floor, Congress has a responsibility to take bipartisan action to boost our economy [and] competitiveness in a way that will create jobs. This bill has the potential, in my opinion, [and] will do exactly that.
“While the bill is not perfect – none of them are – by investing in our nation's infrastructure, including ports and waterways, as this bill does, we can lay the groundwork for a more efficient delivery system for American-made products to reach markets in our country and overseas. Promoting and increasing U.S. exports is a core component of the House Democrats’ – and, I might say, a bipartisan – Make It In America plan for jobs and competitiveness.
“I hope Democrats and Republicans can work together in a bipartisan way, as Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall have done with this bill, to move ... Make It In America legislation to the Floor so we can further promote exports, pursue a national manufacturing strategy, encourage the return of innovation and jobs from overseas, and secure a skilled work force for the 21st century.
“Mr. Speaker, I’ll support this bill today for what it does to create jobs and improve water-borne transportation. I hope that as the House and Senate develop a final bill, the conferees look closely at the environmental review provisions to make certain we can strike an appropriate balance between expediting projects while understanding their impact on the environment. I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us to make sure that our efforts to provide certainty account for the size and complexity of some water projects.
“If we can continue to act in a bipartisan way, as I know Mr. Shuster and Mr. Rahall will do, we can send a message that Congress is ready to move forward and help more of our people make it in America.
“And I hope we can tap into this spirit of cooperation by scheduling consideration of a comprehensive immigration reform legislation which, like this bill, has support from both sides of the aisle, from business, from labor, from religious groups and from leading nonprofits. That is a challenge I think that we can meet this year, and, again, I want to congratulate the Gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Shuster, who has worked hard in a focused and bipartisan way to bring this day to fruition, and I congratulate him. And I thank Mr. Rahall, my good friend who has worked so diligently over so many years to make sure that people can make it in America and that America invests in itself.”