Watered-Down Water Bill

September 26, 2016

This week the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the $5 billion Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which authorizes dozens of water-related infrastructure projects around the nation.

However, last Thursday House representatives learned that much sought-after language in the bill which would ensure money collected for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund would be used for the maintenance of ports and harbors.  In the past, money from this fund has been diverted to offset other congressional spending. Tucked in the bill is funding for $810 million to fund splash parks, baseball fields and covered basketball courts in Texas.

The House WRDA legislation also fails to contain emergency funding for communities with lead-contaminated water like Flint, Michigan.

Democrat Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said the lack of emergency funding and no guarantee money would not be redirected from the harbor fund sabotages " a good, bipartisan bill that would have maintained and strengthened our ports, harbors and waterways, and our nation's economic competitiveness. Unless the Republicans reevaluate their plan, I plan to oppose the legislation when it comes to the floor."

Read more of TheHill's Dems Highlight More Concerns With House Waterways Bill here.