President Bush vetoed the Water Resources Development Act on Friday - the last possible day to do so. He signaled that he would veto the bill because of the high price tag.
It took several years to get the measure through Congress. WRDA would modernize and upgrade the lock and dam systems on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The outdated system severely hinders the shipment of grains both domestically and internationally.
The National Corn Growers Association is not taking the veto lightly.
"We are rallying our 32,000 members and will wage an all-out grassroots campaign to override the veto," says NCGA President Ron Litterer. "WRDA is absolutely crucial to farmers who depend on the inland waterway system to deliver their crops to the global marketplace and to businesses who rely on the system to move their raw materials and products. As it stands, our infrastructure cannot keep pace with the current demands and is falling apart."
The American Soybean Association is asking farmers to contract Congress and urge them to override the veto of WRDA. ASA has an online action center where producers can e-mail Congress at www.SoyGrowers.com.
"Soybean growers appreciate the bipartisan efforts of Congress to pass this legislation and urge them to take the final step needed so America’s waterways will receive long-overdue improvements," said ASA President John Hoffman. "More than 75% of U.S. soybean exports move to world ports through the Upper Mississippi and Illinois river systems, so WRDA is key to soybean growers."
Both the Senate and the House passed WRDA by margins much larger than the two-thirds needed to override the veto.