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House Selects Water Resources Conferees

House Selects Water Resources Conferees

Bill focuses on revamping inland waterways, improving lock and dam infrastructure

House leadership Thursday appointed a roster of Congress members to reconcile water resources legislation with the Senate.

Following the announcement, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Penn., said the choices represented an "excellent team" of knowledgeable members.

Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II, D-W.V., expressed confidence in the conferees' ability to "produce a conference report that appropriately invests in our water infrastructure and which earns the strong support of both chambers."

Bill focuses on revamping inland waterways, improving lock and dam infrastructure

Farm groups have prodded legislators to pass the bill, which includes provisions to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to carry out waterways infrastructure projects. The bill also provides new guidelines for project advancement, including options for non-federal funding of such projects.

Additionally, the House version offers funding de-authorizations that the House Transporation Committee says offset new authorizations for pending projects.

Chairman Shuster has often touted "no earmarks" in the bill, and potential job-creators, including waterway infrastructure construction and support for "current and future jobs that will depend on a modern, efficient transportation system that will allow American businesses to compete and prosper in a global marketplace."

The committee will have to work out slight inconsistencies between the House and Senate bills; notable differences to the agriculture community include the lack of an EPA Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure exemption in the House bill.

The Senate approved its version in May, and appointed conferees earlier this month, while the House's version was approved Oct. 24.

Historically, Congress has passed water resources legislation every two years to provide direction to the Administration and the Corps, though a water resources bill has been signed into law since 2007.

The following legislators were appointed to the House conference:

Bill Shuster, R-Penn., John J. Duncan, Jr., R-Tenn., Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., Sam Graves, R-Mo., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Candice Miller, R-Mich., Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., Daniel Webster, R-Fla., Tom Rice, R-S.C., Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Doc Hastings, R-Wash., Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Nick J. Rahall, II, D-W.V., Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Corrine Brown, D-Fla., Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., Donna Edwards, D-Md., John Garamendi, D-Calif., Janice Hahn, D-Calif., Rick Nolan, D-Minn., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Grace Napolitano, D-Calif.

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