$12B water bill barrels through House; Senate may vote this week
WASHINGTON — The House passed the closest thing so far this year to an infrastructure bill — a $12 billion-plus bipartisan measure authorizing 34 water projects, ranging from flood protection in California and North Dakota to deepening the Port of Savannah and widening a Texas-Louisiana waterway that services the oil industry.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed on Tuesday on a 412-4 vote. Lawmakers shook off criticism from conservative and watchdog groups including Heritage Action and Taxpayers for Common Sense that argued the bill should have done more to rein in wasteful government spending.
The Senate could vote on the bill before the end of the week, sending it to President Obama for his signature. The legislation is a bipartisan compromise of companion bills passed separately by the House and Senate last year. A final deal on it was reached last week, concluding months of negotiations.
Supporters, including business interests like the Chamber of Commerce, hailed it as an economy-boosting measure that could deliver thousands of jobs.
“It's a bipartisan bill, and it is a jobs bill,” said Bill Shuster of Hollidaysburg, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Fight against Islamic State at impasse, military commanders say
- Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City
- Federal officials: Dallas nurse free of Ebola
- Alleged trooper killer may have been seen Friday
- West Virginia University expels 3 students for postgame misconduct
- Defacements in national parks lead to outrage, probe
- Riots shake Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Sampling of toxins under way at former steel plant in Kentucky
- Court: IRS not targeting conservative tax-exempt groups
- Man shot from behind, Wecht’s autopsy finds
- Scientists unravel genetics of height