River locks bill expected to clear Senate

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WASHINGTON -- A long-awaited water projects bill that would send millions of dollars to Missouri is expected to clear the Senate without support from Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The Missouri Democrat plans to vote against the $21 billion measure because of the way lawmakers inserted pet projects, or earmarks, into the bill.

More than $800 million in special projects were added by Senate and House negotiators on a conference committee.

McCaskill opposes earmarks that lawmakers include in conference without publicizing them in advance or holding them to a separate vote.

She had previously supported the bill, which includes $1.95 billion to replace aging locks on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond has been pushing the river locks measure for years.

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