Senate Environment and Public Works Committee leaders have sliced the cost of a Water Resources Development Act the panel had approved, trying to make it more pal-atable to critics. The White House said on May 10 that it strongly opposes the reduced bill, but didn’t threaten a veto.

The Congressional Budget Of-fice estimated the 15-year cost for the committee-passed bill at $31.5 billion, including $15 billion to bring Louisiana flood protection structures up to Category 5 storm levels. After panel Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) made changes, CBO pegged the revised bill at $13.9 billion. The version the House passed on April 19 was estimated at $15 billion. The full Senate was debating WRDA at ENR press time.