Besides the farm bill, another important piece of legislation for farmers working its way through Congress right now is the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The House and Senate have passed versions of the bill and there is a conference committee to work out those differences. Randy Gordon is president of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), he says the “big piece right now is the funding of it.” Many in the transportation business and agriculture support a barge fuel user fee to pay for improvements but some in Congress see that as a tax and they adhere to a no-new-taxes policy.
One of the most important provisions of the legislation is a strict timetable on projects designed to eliminate long, drawn-out projects which ultimately lead to significant cost overruns. Gordon says, “This would put some constraints on the Corps of Engineers with heavy review by Congress to make sure they expedite those projects and get them done.”