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WRDA bill debate expected in Senate soon

Reports indicate Senate could take up the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill as soon as the week of May 6.

The Senate is set to take up the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), S. 601, next week, according to a newsletter item from the National Assn. of Wheat Growers.

Sponsored by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), WRDA supports investment in the nation’s waterways and ensures funds in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will be spent for port maintenance.

The bill would also make reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase flexibility for certain Corps projects to accelerate project completion.

Waterways are a major transport route for U.S. agricultural commodities, carrying 60% of the volume for grain exports while supporting more than 400,000 jobs.

The bill was unanimously approved by the EPW panel in April. A companion bill in the House, H.R. 1149, has also been introduced.

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