The American Soybean Association (ASA) applauds the House of Representatives 361-54 vote to override the President’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Yesterday’s House vote was well over the two-thirds majority needed to negate a presidential veto. ASA is optimistic that the Senate will also override the veto given the Senate approved WRDA by a vote of 81-12 in September. The Senate is expected to cast its override vote this week.ASA has worked for years to secure passage of WRDA legislation because it provides much-needed improvements to waterways that are vital to the transport of U.S. soybeans. “Soybean growers applaud Members of Congress for taking action to authorize long-overdue improvements to America’s waterways,” said ASA President John Hoffman, a soybean grower from Waterloo, Iowa.More than 75 percent of U.S. soybean exports move to world ports through the Upper Mississippi and Illinois river systems so WRDA is key to soybean growers. United States waterways are the most economical and environmentally friendly way to move U.S. soybeans to domestic and foreign markets. WRDA legislation will authorize funding for construction of seven new locks and other critical improvements on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. More than 50 percent of U.S. locks and dams have aged beyond their life cycle and many are crumbling. In addition, many are unable to handle today’s barges that are twice as long as when the system was built in the 1930s. Because many barges must be split, higher transportation costs, lower commodity prices and fewer international sales for U.S. farmers occur.
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