Water Resources Developement Act (WRDA): Corps of Engineers Project Authorization Issues [Updated October 4, 2007] [open pdf - 131KB]
"Congress generally authorizes new Army Corps of Engineers water resources studies and projects in a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) before appropriating funds to them. The 107th, 108th, and 109th Congresses considered but did not enact WRDA legislation; the most recent WRDA was enacted in 2000. WRDA 2007 (H.R. 1495), which would authorize hundreds of projects and studies, was cleared for the White House on September 24, 2007. […] An August 1, 2007, Administration letter stated that the President anticipated vetoing the bill, citing among other reasons the authorization level. […] H.R. 1495 would authorize more than two billion dollars in construction activities to restore wetlands in coastal Louisiana, as well as actions to improve hurricane protection in New Orleans. Authorizations for navigation improvements ($2.2 billion) and ecosystem restoration ($1.7 billion) on the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway and Florida Everglades restoration (around $2 billion), also are included. The conference bill would create a Committee on Levee Safety that would make recommendations for a national levee safety program. The conference bill's independent review provisions would require technical review of plans for Corps projects exceeding $45 million and a safety review of construction activities for flood and storm damage projects at the discretion of the agency's Chief of Engineers."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33504