On November 6 a bi-partisan coalition in the House easily overrode President George W. Bush’s veto of a bill that authorizes high-profile projects in Michigan. The Senate is expected to follow suit November 8.
The House override vote was 361-54, with all 15 Michigan members, including nine Republicans, breaking with Bush on the issue to vote yes.
The water projects in the bill affecting Michigan and the Great Lakes are:
- $35 million to cut Michigan sewer overflows.
- $20 million to improve water quality of Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.
- Money to build a barrier in Chicago to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
- $342 million for a second lock to accommodate larger ships in the St. Marys River.
- $3 million for Detroit Riverwalk improvements.
In total across the country, the legislation authorizes $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.
MITA worked with our allies on Capitol Hill and in the infrastructure community to build support for the veto override 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 email@example.com ; or Keith Ledbetter, director of legislative affairs, at
firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.