Senate Votes to Proceed to WRDA Bill

The Senate voted on Monday to move ahead to a vote on its Water Resources Development Act, which includes $220 million in funds for Flint, Mich., and other cities with water infrastructure troubles.

The Senate voted in favor of cloture 90-1, with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) voting in opposition. The bill gained a path forward last week when Democrats said they wouldn’t block a vote, after initially considering holding out for a vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he and the panel’s ranking Democrat, California Sen. Barbara Boxer, will “continue to do our best to clear germane amendments until final passage later this week.”

A bipartisan group of senators introduced an amendment expediting the Environmental Protection Agency’s process of reimbursing state, local and tribal governments for costs related to the Gold King Mine waste-water spill in Colorado.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced an amendment barring the partially constructed Dakota Access pipeline from obtaining an easement over Lake Oahe until an environmental impact statement is completed.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) introduced an amendment that could exclude farms with small tanks of oil and no history of spills from an Environmental Protection Agency rule on oil spill prevention near navigable waters.