Congress Adjourns Without Passing WRDA

With some issues unresolved, Water Resources and Development Act will have to wait until November.

As Congress heads into the election recess, both houses released a joint statement Thursday saying they will return to the Water Resources and Development Act in November. Lawmakers from both parties voice a commitment to pass the bill this year, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, says that conferee staffs will meet during the recess to address the unresolved issues.

"Despite significant progress made and the hard work by all involved, time simply ran out to pass a bill by the end of September," says Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "I look forward to returning in November to work with my colleagues to pass WRDA as soon as possible. A WRDA bill is long overdue and I have every intention of completing the bill this year."

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., R-Tenn., isn't interested in rushing the bill without smoothing out the unresolved issues: "It is better to do a conference bill well than to do it quickly. This bill will authorize projects that are investments in America. These are navigation projects that keep our ports and waterways open to commercial traffic, flood damage reduction projects that protect our homes and businesses, and environmental restoration projects that enhance our quality of life."

The bill would repair locks and dams in key waterways, including constructing seven 1,200-foot locks on the Mississippi River and modernizing locks on the Illinois and MississippiRivers in order to eliminate bottlenecks.

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