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May 6, 2014

Expect WRDA Conference Report Soon

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Last year, Congress began work on the Water Resources Development Act. American Farm Bureau transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley provides an update on this legislation in this story with Seanica Otterby.
OtterbyAmerican Farm Bureau transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley says Congress has made a lot of progress on the Water Resources Development Act. The Senate moved first and passed its version of the bill last May, and then the House passed its version in October. Between the two chambers, Walmsley says there have only been 17 votes against the legislation. Since then, WRDA has been in conference.
WalmsleyIt appears that we’re getting very close to a conference report. The differences between what the Senate passed and what the House passed, that we’re getting close to an agreement, and we’ll hopefully have a WRDA conference report in the coming days if not weeks.
OtterbyWalmsley says it’s a positive sign that the conference negotiators have not divulged much information from what’s going on in the conference.
WalmsleyI think that’s a clear indication that everyone involved in this process is that they actually want to complete this piece of legislation, they understand the importance of it to the nation, that there hasn’t been a lot out there. So, that’ll be something we’re looking forward to.
OtterbyWRDA is extremely important for agriculture, Walmsley says, because the industry depends on rails, roads and waterways to transport products.
WalmsleyWaterways is one of the most fuel efficient, cost-effective ways to transport bulk commodities, like we see with our grain. We’ve been blessed in this country. We’ve got over 12,000 miles of inland waterways connecting 41 different states that really allows us to be competitive internationally.
OtterbyWalmsley says that competitive edge is important for farmers to continue providing safe, affordable food to consumers around the world. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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