Yesterday evening, the U.S. House passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), also known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). NMMA has been working with Congress all year to educate them on the importance of the WRDA to recreational boating. The bill approves critical funding improvements and upkeeps for our nation’s waterways and harbors and includes ecosystem, dredging, flood control, and navigation programs. The WRDA will now be up for consideration in the Senate.
The WRDA contains a provision allowing for transfer of additional water from Northern California to the Central Valley, critical to California fisheries, which has been a source of disagreement amongst lawmakers and is opposed by some Senate Democrats.
The House also took final action yesterday on a continuing resolution (CR), which funds the government into April – an essential vote that keeps the government open and operating throughout the winter and spring.
The WRDA and CR are now in the hands of the Senate. NMMA expects the Senate to vote on the WRDA in the next 24 hours; they also must vote on the CR by end of the day today or the government will shut down. With the House now out for the year, the Senate must pass the version of the CR sent to them without changes. If Congress fails to reach a deal, not only will many critical services be suspended, but access to National Parks and other government waterways will also be put on hold until a funding agreement can be reached.