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WRDA passes first veto hurdle

Agriculture.com Staff 11/07/2007 @ 9:56am

By a margin of 361 to 54, the House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to override the veto by President Bush of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), according to a report from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. The Senate plans to vote later this week and is also expected to override the veto.

WRDA will authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on water projects around the country, including improvements for Mississippi River locks. The Army Corps currently has a backlog of $58 billion worth of projects that are not getting completed on their current $2 billion annual budget.

This bill would mark the first water system restoration and flood control authorization passed by Congress since 2000. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would cost $11.2 billion over the next four years and $12 billion in the 10 years after that.

The necessity of WRDA's passage strongly outweighs the costs, according to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a longtime supporter of the river transportation improvement package.

"These improvements are necessary if our agriculture producers and manufacturers are able to compete in a global market in the future. WRDA has been a work in progress for seven years and enjoys broad, bipartisan support in both the Senate and House," Grassley said last week after Bush's veto. "The bottom line is that the House passed the bill 394 to 25 and the Senate passed it by a vote of 91 to 4. With this strong support, it appears this is finally going to become law, despite the President's ill-advised veto."

By a margin of 361 to 54, the House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to override the veto by President Bush of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), according to a report from the Iowa Corn Growers Association. The Senate plans to vote later this week and is also expected to override the veto.

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