Senate Passes Water Resources Development Act House Action Pending

first_imgThe U.S. Senate earlier Thursday afternoon passed a two-year Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The American Soybean Association (ASA)  supports enactment of the two-year WRDA reauthorization bill as a follow-up on the significant reforms and achievements of the WRDA bill enacted in 2014 and to get Congress back to the regular schedule of waterways infrastructure program reauthorizations every two years.The Senate WRDA bill (S. 2848) authorizes $9 billion for water projects recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers, including inland waterways navigation infrastructure, as well as restoration for the Everglades, the Great Lakes and other areas.Of most interest to soybean farmers are the authorizations provided for inland waterways navigation and harbor deepening projects. The authorizations are still subject to annual appropriations to allow the funds to be executed and implemented by the Corps of Engineers.On the House side, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster has indicated his hope to be able to get their version of the WRDA bill (HR 5303) on the House floor next week. The House T&I Committee passed their bill back in May. The House and Senate versions are similar on ports and waterways provisions, but differ on the contentious issue of providing aid for Flint, Mich. and other communities with drinking water infrastructure issues. If the House is able to pass their bill, a conference committee could convene during the lame duck session in December.last_img