House aides told reporters in a May 15 briefing that those new authorizations would be offset by deauthorizing $18 billion in inactive pre-2007 projects. But CBO did not count the deauthorizations as offsets in its cost estimate of the bill.
Although WRRDA lists which projects it authorizes, and includes their federal shares and total estimated costs, Shuster and other lawmakers maintain that the measure has no earmarks.
While the bill's authorizations are a positive step for the projects, they do not guarantee groundbreakings. Authorizations still are subject to annual appropriations and competition will be rugged for limited discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2015 and the foreseeable future.
Another key provision establishes a five-year pilot federal loan program, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), for Corps and EPA water projects. The program, modeled on the Dept. of Transportation’s TIFIA program, aims to stretch federal dollars by leveraging nonfederal funds