Inhofe Opening Statement at WRDA Conference Opening Meeting

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environmental Public Works Committee (EPW) and member of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Conference Committee, today delivered the following statement at the conference's opening meeting:

As prepared for delivery:

Thank you Madame Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with all members of the Conference as we work to complete our first Water Resources Development Act in six years. This marks my 8th WRDA bill since I came to Congress. Back in 2007, as ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I helped lead a successful effort to enact WRDA over President Bush’s veto. The spirit of bipartisanship we had six years ago is present in this year’s Senate and House bills.  I am confident that with the level of support seen in both chambers we will have a successful conference.

The WRDA bill performs a vital function. Authorization committees and the bills we produce act as screeners of federal priorities, setting out projects and programs that are legitimate needs. Furthermore, this year’s WRDA bill provides good government policy, allowing non-federal entities to invest in our infrastructure and grow our waterways. In Oklahoma this will mean:

-Oklahoma businesses and products can be assured continued access to the world economy through the Port of Catoosa and the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

-The Cherokee nation can build and market their own hydroelectricity at the WD Mayo Lock and Dam.

-And Tulsa County can advance the Arkansas River Corridor Project which will spur economic growth along the river.

I’m proud of the work we did in the Senate this spring and look forward to working with my colleagues here to advance this legislation through Conference with similar success.