May 22, 2014 3:04 PM
Congress is sending the White House a $12 billion-plus water projects bill that authorizes strengthening 41 miles of levees in the Sutter Basin, including those protecting Yuba City.
The bill authorizes $760 million for the American River Watershed Project in the Natomas Basin, helping prevent flooding in Sacramento and Sutter Counties. It also authorizes $255 million in flood control for the Sutter Basin.
The bill also authorizes new flood control projects in Iowa, North Dakota and harbor expansions in Boston and Savannah, Georgia.
The Senate passed the bill on a 91-7 vote Thursday after the House approved it Tuesday.
The measure is half the size of the last water projects bill passed by Congress seven years ago, before the economy sank into a deep recession, helping swell the government's debt. The bill also is death knell for $18 billion in dormant projects Congress had approved before 2007.
The bill funds 34 projects the Army Corps of Engineers had made priorities. Supporters hailed it as jobs-producing, commerce-enhancing infrastructure bill benefiting a wide variety of interests, including environmentalists, and homeowners and businesses ravaged by repeated floods.
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