The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed its massive Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), its marine infrastructure bill with many provisions impacting the Great Lakes. The legislation was approved overwhelmingly, 399-25.
“WRDA is legislation that touches the Great Lakes in so many ways,” said Brad Williams, executive director of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC), of which the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance is an active member. “The bill authorizes funding for dredging, marine infrastructure and Great Lakes environmental protections, which are priorities for all of us.”
Yesterday, the GLMCC pushed for successful passage of a floor amendment by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), making permanent a temporary set-aside of Army Corps of Engineers Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending for the Great Lakes. GLMCC also campaigned for Rep. David Joyce’s (R-OH) amendment reauthorizing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s (R-PA) bill included an authorization for the Upper Ohio River project, also a key priority for GLMCC.
The Senate has already passed its version of WRDA, setting up a conference committee later this year. Both the House and Senate will return after the election for a lame duck session that will address WRDA and other issues.