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WASHINGTON (AP) The Senate has put aside its partisan differences to extend the federal government's main water resources law, which promotes investment in port improvements, flood protection, dam and levee projects and environmental restoration.

The smooth passage of the Water Resources Development Act in the Senate was in sharp contrast to the last time Congress took up a water resources bill in 2007, when President George W. Bush vetoed the bill and the Democratic-led Congress retaliated with the first veto override of the Bush presidency.

Unlike the 2007 bill, which was laden with hundreds of earmarks or special projects sought by individual lawmakers, this bill has no earmarks. But critics question whether the Army Corps of Engineers should be taking up new projects when it hasn't completed projects totaling about $60 billion.