WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2013 – The Senate announced its conferees tonight for upcoming negotiations with the House over the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (H.R. 3080), moving closer to final congressional approval on the first reauthorization of a water resources development bill in more than five years. 

The House is yet to name its conferees, but could do so next week. Stakeholders are hopeful the legislation can be completed by the end of the year.

Conferees for the Senate include Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Max Baucus, D-Mont., Thomas Carper, D-Del., Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., David Vitter, R-La., James Inhofe, R-Okla., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

The House recently approved the legislation, with a 417-3 vote. The bill seeks to re-authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and support the nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support flood protection and environmental restoration needs.

The House bill aims to cut federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamline the infrastructure project delivery process, promote fiscal responsibility, and strengthen aging water transportation networks. The Senate approved its closely-related Water Resources Development Act (S. 601) recently with a strong bipartisan 83-14 vote.