Issue: S. 601 Water Resources Development Act of 2013, As Amended. (A bill to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and for other purposes.) (Sponsor: Barbara Boxer, D-CA.)
Result: Passed 83 to 14, 3 not voting. GOP and Democrats scored.
Bill Summary: A comprehensive water development authorization bill consisting of 13 Titles including: Title I: Water Resource Projects; Title II: Water Resources Policy Reforms; Title VII: Inland Waterways; Title VIII: Harbor Maintenance; Title IX: Dam Safety; and Title XII: National Endowment for the Oceans.
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Analysis: According to the Congressional Budget Office, S. 601 would authorize $12.2 billion in spending over the Fiscal Years 2014 thru 2023.
This Act would continue the federal practice of using federal tax dollars to pay for projects that are properly the responsibility of state and local entities (and even the private sector) and should be decided at those levels.
S. 601 would prohibit Congress from reducing the budget for the Civil Works Program below the level for the previous year. In addition to respecting the Constitution, the federal government needs to live within its means. Making more spending areas immune to budget cuts undermines that responsibility.
We also take particular exception to Title XII The National Endowment for the Oceans. Title XII would authorize the executive branch to a permanent endowment fund making grants to the States for federally approved programs within the scope of the Act. In the previous century, Congress created the Federal Reserve with the unconstitutional power to finance federal deficits through monetary inflation. In the intervening years, the federal government has made the States dependent on its “deep pockets” and thereby greatly undermined our system of federalism and its checks and balances.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)