By Dean Franks, vice president of congressional affairs, ARTBA

A majority of Senate Republicans, led by Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), are calling on Senate leaders to take up the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 before Congress leaves July 15 for the political conventions and the annual August congressional recess.

Of the Senate’s 54 Republican members, 30 signed Inhofe’s June 29 letter. WRDA legislation, traditionally completed every two years, authorizes funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete lock, dam, port and flood control projects along the nation’s waterways, as well as other marine-related policy provisions and program funding.

The EPW Committee April 28 approved legislation out of committee by a 19-1 vote, but it has lingered since waiting for action by the full Senate. The House T&I Committee May 25 approved its version of the bill, but that measure too has stalled.

ARTBA joined 92 other associations and organizations in a June 24 letter urging the Senate to take up and pass the legislation, S. 2848, as soon as possible.  ARTBA will continue to work with legislators and allied groups to ensure a full water infrastructure bill is completed this year.