The House passed the WRDA bill, S. 612 with a strong vote of 360-61 earlier this week. The Water Resource Development Act would authorize funding for a number of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, as well as clean up lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan and other states with similar problems. The funding package is similar to an amendment offered on the House-passed version, H.R. 5303, that would authorize $170 million for Flint-related programs, that is $100 million less than the package approved in the Senate bill, S. 2848.
The bill will hit a snag in the Senate due to outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) opposition to a provision to provide more water from northern California to the drought-stricken part of the state. She believes the provision would give “authority to the President to approve dams across the West, taking away that power from Congress.”
IL Corn is supportive of the bill which provides needed authorization for over 20 projects at the Army Corps and also doesn’t include lockage fees or tolls on our inland waterways system through a Public-Private Partnership (P3)—something the agriculture industry fought to keep out of the bill.