Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)—a key program for the recreational boating industry that authorizes and funds the Army Corp to make improvements and upkeeps for our nation’s waterways and harbors. The 95-3 vote shows just how critically important the infrastructure package is to all Americans. A version of the bill is expected to pass the House once it is scheduled for a vote—potentially as early as next week—as it enjoys wide bipartisan support from the chamber; just this week, 143 representatives signed a Dear Colleague letter urging Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to bring WRDA to the floor.
In conjunction with this legislative activity, NMMA and a host of other industry stakeholder groups hosted two Capitol Hill panel briefings to highlight the role WRDA plays with regard to the recreational boating, angling and conservation communities across the country. The briefings, held yesterday in the House and the Senate, informed more than 50 Congressional staffers and featured in-depth presentations from Florida Fish and Wildlife, Keep Florida Fishing and K+L Gates on the bill’s impact on local waterways, funding of critically important modernization projects and its regional impact in Florida in relation to the Everglades Restoration.