From our friends at National Waterways Conference.
November 16, 2017
Hearing for ASACW Nominee
Earlier this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the nomination of R.D. James to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. James, who has been a member of the Mississippi River Commission since 1981, is a strong advocate for the Army Corps of Engineers program. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to hold a hearing on December 6th. While a courtesy, James’ nomination is not expected to move to the floor until after that hearing. We enthusiastically support the nomination and look forward to working with Mr. James upon his confirmation.
The Administration has also appointed Ryan Fisher as the new Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (CW). Fisher comes from the Corps’ Pittsburgh District, and before that served as the legislative director for Vice President Mike Pence when he was a congressman from Indiana.
The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government is scheduled to expire on December 8th. However, senior appropriators from both chambers have indicated they need additional time to nail down the fiscal year 18 funding levels and expect a short-term extension, with the goal of finalizing an omnibus package before the Christmas recess. However, with the Republican priority making significant progress on tax legislation, and that debate getting more contentious, it would not be out of the question that a longer-term CR might be necessary. We will keep you apprised of developments.
WRDA in 2018?
As previously reported, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a roundtable discussion in Miami on October 27th to kick off discussions for a water resources bill in 2018. NWC President Amy Larson was invited to participate. The overriding themes of the discussion were a need for additional funding for water resources projects; less regulation and streamlining the project delivery process, including providing non-federal sponsors a greater voice in that process; and the need for additional input in the development of implementation guidance for WRRDA 14 and WRDA 16.
NWC’s Legislative Policy Committee will be working to develop priorities for inclusion in a WRDA 18. Please let us know of particular issues you’d like to see addressed.