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Key Vote NO on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Conference Report

As one of our over 6 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and senators and urge them to vote NO on the conference report for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), H.R. 3080. While this bill makes some small improvements on its predecessor, it still leaves taxpayers on the hook for tens of billions of dollars in project backlogs and cost-sharing.

The most glaring deficiency in this reform bill is that it does little to address the enormous backlog of projects for the Army Corps of Engineers. While WRRDA proponents celebrate the net $6 billion cut in these authorizations, they leave out that this cut leaves behind a to-do list of projects that would cost tens of billions of dollars.

The bill also fails to address the cost/benefits analysis the Corps of Engineers uses for their projects, which leads to federal spending on these projects frequently greatly exceeding their projected cost.

WRRDA also fails to address the faulty Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), which currently uses a faulty system to allocate funds for harbor maintenance. A large portion of the funds in the HMTF are used to subsidize the maintenance of smaller, less profitable ports, meaning that the fund acts as a redistributor of wealth from larger ports to smaller ones. At the very least the HMTF’s funds should be allocated in a manner that is more consistent with the actual activity and maintenance costs associated with a given harbor.

In balance, the improvements in WRRDA – such as removing earmarks and deauthorizing a few of the Corps of Engineers’ projects – do not come close to offsetting the fundamental fiscal problems in the previous WRDA bills.

I urge you to call your representative and senators and ask them to vote NO on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, H.R. 3080. We will count their vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating FreedomWorks’ Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2014. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.


Matt Kibbe President and CEO, FreedomWorks