Congress passes $12.3 billion water projects bill
WASHINGTON - Congress is sending the White House a $12 billion-plus bill authorizing new flood control projects in Iowa, North Dakota and California, harbor expansions in Boston and Georgia, and environmental restoration in Louisiana.
The legislation authorizes a number of projects aimed at restoring and preserving the Lousiana coastline along with levee improvements and general flood prevention efforts.
The Senate passed the bill on a 91-7 vote Thursday after the House approved it Tuesday.
The measure is half the size of the last water projects bill passed by Congress seven years ago, before the economy sank into a deep recession, helping swell the government's debt. The bill also is death knell for $18 billion in dormant projects Congress had approved before 2007.
The bill funds 34 projects the Army Corps of Engineers had made priorities. Supporters hailed it as jobs-producing, commerce-enhancing infrastructure bill benefiting a wide variety of interests, including environmentalists, and homeowners and businesses ravaged by repeated floods.