WASHINGTON, DC — Tom Smith, Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers, released a statement on the $900B stimulus package and $1.4T omnibus bill (H.R. 133 - Consolidated Appropriations Act) passed by Congress on December 21:
“Today, we applaud Congress for passing the $900 billion stimulus package and $1.4 trillion omnibus bill, which will begin to provide relief to American families, state Departments of Transportation, and transit agencies. Our nation’s transportation industries have struggled to keep up due to lost revenue from the pandemic, and this bipartisan end-of-the-year package provides welcome assistance.
"We also commend Congress for reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 as a part of the package, as this bill prioritizes investment in our nation’s water resources systems – dams, levees, inland waterways, and ports – all of which are critical for keeping the economy moving and ensuring public health and safety, as well as preserving and enhancing our environmental resources. While much more needs to be done, we thank the 116th Congress for these year-end accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the incoming Administration to not only fund critical infrastructure projects, but jumpstart economic recovery efforts in the new year."
The WRDA authorizes studies and project construction and provides guidance on agency practices. It helps fund "regular consideration" of locally-driven, rigorously-studied, and nationally-significant water infrastructure to help promote the nation’s economy, protect communities, and maintain quality of life. Congress has successfully enacted three consecutive WRDAs in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visitwww.asce.org.