Bush Vetoes Water Infrastructure Bill

President Bush announced his long anticipated veto of legislation to authorize $23 billion for projects aimed at improving navigation, flood control, environmental restoration, water supply and storm damage reduction. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), H.R. 1495, would also provide some funding for water, wastewater and combined sewer overflow projects. Bush claims the measure lacks fiscal discipline.

Earlier this year, MITA informed members about the Clean Water Act reauthorization and appropriation efforts in Washington to provide more money into the state revolving funds. This vetoed legislation is unrelated to those efforts.

Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate have declared they plan to mount an aggressive campaign to pass the WRDA bill over the President’s objection. Bush has vetoed five bills and none have been overridden to date. The WRDA measure passed the House 381 to 40 and the Senate 81 to 12—majorities well above the two-thirds necessary to override a veto. There is no guarantee, however, that the same vote count will materialize in a debate to overturn President Bush for the first time.

MITA is working with our allies on Capitol Hill and in the infrastructure community to build support for a November 6 vote to override the WRDA veto in the House and will continue to work on reauthorization of the Clean Water Act as we move into the new year.

If you have any questions please contact Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations at mikenystrom@mi-ita.com; or Keith Ledbetter, Director of Legislative Affairs at keithledbetter@mi-ita.com ; or by calling the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.