The US Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) by a vote of 95-3. This brings an end to months of uncertainty over the US$ 10.6 billion water infrastructure bill, which includes money for water infrastructure projects across the country, as well as authorisations for over 20 port, levee and dam projects. It also includes US$220 million for aid to communities affected by high levels of lead in water, specifically Flint, Mich.
The legislation still needs to clear the US House of Representatives, which has shown little interest in some of the provisions included in the Senate version. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a much smaller bill earlier this year without funding for lead treatment or many of the project authorisations. The Senate version includes a number of projects that are not included in the House version and is significantly larger, which will doubtlessly extend the time needed for House debate and, after passage, conference.
Several House staffers have indicated that the Senate package would be contested in the House, because up to eight different House have jurisdiction over projects included in the Senate version. The house and Senate version with jurisdiction must reconcile differences between the two versions in order to create a final bill for approval.
The House will attempt to pass WRDA before recessing next week for the election, meaning conferencing the two versions will be left until the lame duck session immediately after the election.
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/19092016/us-senate-passes-wrda-286/