Weekly Leader Letters

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House Passes Amendment to Fulfill Funding for Harbor Maintenance

Late last week, the House passed H.R. 4923, the FY2015 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill. In addition, an amendment, offered by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), was adopted to add $57.6 million to the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) funding to meet the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) spending targets included in the enacted Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).

The amendment passed on a strong 281-137 vote and increased the bill’s overall Corps funding to just under $5.6 billion. The ASA strongly supported the HMTF targets in the WRRDA bill and is pleased that the House has acted to fulfill that agreement. While the Energy & Water Appropriations bill has passed the House, it is stalled in the Senate. A Senate “mini-bus” bill combining appropriations for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice, and Transportation-HUD was pulled from Senate floor debate at the end of June because of pending controversial amendments related to Clean Water Act regulations and the EPA’s carbon emissions rule.   Action by the Senate Appropriations Committee on its Energy & Water bill has been delayed indefinitely for the same reasons. None of the 12 annual appropriations bills has been passed yet in the Senate, making it likely that a Continuing Resolution will be required in September.

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