DALLAS – Leaders of a conference committee meeting Wednesday to reconcile House and Senate versions of an $8 billion water infrastructure bill predicted its smooth passage by Congress before the end of the year.

“I’m optimistic that we can come to an agreement and send a bill to the President in as short an order as we can,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chair of the committee of 28 House members and eight Senators, 19 of whom are Republicans and 17 Democrats.

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