Waterway Bill Defeated By House Ahead Of Memorial Day Holiday

MississippiA key bill to modernize locks failed in the United States House in an embarrassing defeat for Republican leadership.  G-O-P rank and file largely abandoned the bill over a controversial amendment.
It should have been routine. The bill contained $6 billion for Army Corps civil works, and more than $370 million for inland waterways projects.
But, in a year of the unpredictable and even absurd, the locks bill is ‘dead in the water’ over an LGBT bathroom rights amendment, falling 112-305 with Republicans largely bolting.
Debra Calhoun is the Waterways Council Senior Vice President…
Calhoun – Waterway Defeat 1
Even more problematic for House Speaker Paul Ryan is the collapse of the appropriations process, with ag, interior, and most other spending bills unfinished.  He’s planning a “family discussion” with the G-O-P rank and file after the Memorial Day recess.  Calhoun says…
Calhoun – Waterway Defeat 2
Which Calhoun says could actually be better for locks modernization, with $30 million more in the Fiscal Year 2016 law, than the recently passed Fiscal Year 2017 bill.
Separately, House Transportation and Infrastructure advanced the latest water resources development, or “WRDA” bill, rejecting lockage fees or tolls to finance projects on the Illinois waterway.  75 farm and other groups opposed the fees.