WASHINGTON, D.C. (KPLC) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization bill.
According to a news release from U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., the measure includes important water infrastructure reforms and streamlines the authorization for projects in Southwest Louisiana, including increased dredging for the Port of Lake Charles and work for the Sabine-Neches Waterway deepening.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 83–14.
"The bill improves the nation's ability to operate and maintain Louisiana's inland waterways by ensuring that money already being collected from industry and navigation is used for its intended purposes. It allows us to make smart investments in deepening federal channels and upgrading our water infrastructure to stay competitive in the 21st century," Landrieu said. "This is an essential step toward expediting project implementation and reducing bureaucratic delays, but it will add billions in new projects onto the existing $60 billion Army Corps backlog.
"While this bill makes important, commonsense reforms that will help keep our rivers dredged, ports maintained and build the critical flood control infrastructure we need to stay safe during storms, it will take serious funding to make these projects in Southwest Louisiana a reality. I hope the same spirit of bipartisanship that helped pass today's bill continues through the appropriations process to take these projects from the drawing board to construction site. I applaud Sens. Vitter and Boxer for their leadership on this vital water infrastructure bill, and I hope the House will take this bill up quickly," Landrieu continued.