Insight: U.S. Congress finds cure for gridlock in water

(Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives has rediscovered the formula for peace, harmony and an end to gridlock after a month of partisan warfare: $8 billion worth of harbor dredging, dam and lock construction and other federal waterway improvements. The bill got only modest attention in the aftermath of a government shutdown and the technological woes of President Obama’s health law when it passed last week by a vote of 417-3. No error there: 224 Republicans and 193 Democrats, at each others’ throats for the past five years, joined together in what Representative Virginia Foxx called a “love feast.”Pork it was not, members insisted, rejecting the old pejorative term in favor of “infrastructure” spending, and garnishing the title with another word, “reform,” that’s also in vogue. Nor, by members’ definition, were these earmarks, the pet projects inserted by individual members that have become taboo symbols of lavish Washington spending.

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