Posted: 4:10 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014
By Daniel Malloy
WASHINGTON — Congress’ final agreement on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act was filed this afternoon, ahead of conference committee votes set for next week on a bill that will allow — at long last — the Savannah Port deepening to begin.
The House vote, according to GOP aides, is expected Tuesday. There is also an election on Tuesday. What’s a Port-loving member of Congress to do?
“I don’t anticipate Jack Kingston missing a vote to clear Georgia’s number one economic development initiative for which he leads and has led the fight for the past 15 years,” said Chris Crawford, spokesman for Senate-seeking Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah.
Rep. Paul Broun of Athens, also running for Senate, is waiting on the final vote schedule to make a decision, according to spokeswoman Christine Hardman.
“While we’re confident that WRDA will pass, this is an issue where Dr. Broun would like to be here to vote in support of,” Hardman said.
Last year, the House version of this bill passed 417-3, so a couple of votes are not going to make the difference. But it is a huge priority for the state, and one of few issues on which the entire 16-member delegation has been in lockstep.
House votes are typically in the afternoon unless all the members are getting out of town for the weekend. Polls close in Georgia at 7 p.m., at which point the booze will be flowing at Atlanta-area hotels where the Senate candidates are throwing victory parties — of which only two will actually be victorious.
The Georgians are not the only ones looking for a clear schedule on Tuesday. Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, the chairman of the House transportation committee who toiled over this bill for more than a year, has a Republican primary vote that day, too. He would presumably have more sway in trying to affect the timing of the vote, set by House GOP leadership.
About the Author
Daniel Malloy is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington Correspondent, covering the Georgia Congressional delegation and other D.C. goings-on that affect the state since 2011. He's a zealous fan and proud graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.