Senate names water infrastructure bill conferees

The Senate has named its negotiators for an upcoming conference with House leaders over a new bill to boost U.S. ports and waterways.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony Senate panel backs B water bill with Flint aid The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the panel, Sen. David VitterDavid VitterSenators aim to bolster active shooter training 5 takeaways from Mike Lee’s leadership bid Republicans demand shift in Obama’s ISIS strategy MORE (R-La.), announced that they would be joined by six other senators in representing the upper chamber.

The other Senate conferees on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) will be Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusWyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny The chaotic fight for ObamaCare MORE (D-Mont.), Tom CarperTom CarperSenators urge White House to speed cyber policy updates Retailers battle financial sector over data breach legislation Senate approves new Veterans Affairs watchdog MORE (D-Del.), Ben CardinBen CardinIran and heavy water: Five things to know GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Senators close in on deal on Mexico ambassador nominee MORE (D-Md.)
Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate looks for easy wins amid 2016 gridlock Portman focuses on drug abuse epidemic in new ad The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-R.I.), John BarrassoJohn BarrassoObamaCare premiums expected to rise sharply amid insurer losses Palestine is latest GOP offensive in climate change wars Senate GOP sticks with leadership team MORE (R-Wy.) and James InhofeJames InhofeThree more Republican senators to meet with Supreme Court nominee Senate unveils B waterways bill with aid for Flint 0 million Flint aid package included in water bill MORE (R-Okla.).

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Lawmakers are expected to try to reach an agreement on a combined water bill before the end of the year so that the measure can be signed by President Obama.

Obama has said that he prefers the Democratically-controlled Senate's version of the water bill, but he has also said that he can accept the House's legislation.

The water bill includes authorizations for about $8 billion in water infrastructure projects, though neither chamber's version of the measure includes any actual money. The chambers took different approaches to identifying projects that would receive the OK for Congressional funding.

The Senate's version of the measure relied on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make the water project selections, but Republicans in the House argued that doing so would delegate too much responsibility for federal spending away from Congress.