U.S. House passes water infrastructure bill authorizing Charleston Harbor dredging

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a key water infrastructure bill Wednesday that would, among other things, ensure the Charleston Harbor deepening project stays on schedule. Lawmakers voted 399-25 to pass the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA. All members of the South Carolina congressional delegation voted “yes.” Just 24 hours earlier, the legislation appeared in peril. Democrats threatened to withhold support as Republicans refused to allow a vote on an amendment that would provide aid to the city of Flint, Mich., which is still grappling with a major contaminated drinking water crisis. Republicans pointed to the Senate-passed version of WRDA, which had that language included. They predicted that when both chambers meet to hash out the details of a final bill in November or December, it was likely that money would survive the negotiations. Democrats weren’t willing to trust Republicans at their word, fearing that unless the money was in their WRDA bill, too, they would come to the negotiating table with a weaker hand.

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