The House Rules Committee was expected to approve the re-authorization bill for the Central Utah Water Project on Thursday, Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, said.

Owens said he had personal assurances from House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., that Rules would consider CUP and act favorably on it.Rep. Charles Pashayan, R-Calif., a member of Rules, has so far blocked the CUP bill because of Reclamation reform provisions attached to it. Those reforms, a favorite of Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., would strictly limit use of federal water by large farms in the California Central Valley district Pashayan represents.

"We're going to roll Pashayan," Owens said. "The majority leader (Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.) has assured me that we have the votes in Rules to pass it."

According to Owens, CUP will come up in the House on Monday.

"We have the votes there," Owens said. "No one is against it on the floor."

He said he would be meeting Thursday with Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, to plan strategy for getting a vote on the re-authorization in the Senate in the brief time available in the current session of Congress.

Garn announced this week that the Bush administration had dropped its opposition to the overall CUP bill, although it still wants to change certain sections, including a commission to oversee conservation aspects of the project.