King: House Passes King Measure Seeking to Increase Funding for Army Corps Work in Missouri River Basin
Friday, June 01, 2012
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Steve King released the following statement after the House approved an amendment he offered to the FY2013 Energy and Water Appropriations bill aimed at bringing the amount of funding provided in the bill for the US Army Corps of Engineers' Operations and Maintenance work in the Missouri River basin in line with the amount of funding for that work that was requested by the Corps. Through his amendment, King proposes shifting funds from the Missouri River fish and wildlife recovery account to the Operations and Maintenance account for the River basin. The intent of the amendment is provide just over $500,000 in additional funds for Operations and Maintenance work in the basin to bring the total funding provided for this work in the upcoming fiscal year to slightly more than the $7.7 million requested by the Corps. Since 2002, the spending on Fish and Wildlife in the Missouri River basin has INCREASED approximately 550%, while funding for operations and maintenance in the basin has DECREASED by nearly 20% (19.3%). The House passed King's amendment by a vote of 203 to 185.
"There are significant changes that must be made in the way the Missouri River is managed in the wake of last year's historic flood," said King. "First, as I've long argued, we must increase the amount of storage capacity in the reservoirs upstream that is set aside for flood control, and I've introduced legislation, H.R. 2942, to do just that. But, as part of that effort, we must also take steps necessary to increase the capacity of the channel so that it can withstand greater discharges from Gavins Point - likely up to 120,000 cubic feet per second - and this amendment will pave the way for that process to begin."
"If we are ever going to increase channel capacity, we must first have the full resources necessary to maintain the channel as it currently exists and ensure the stage is set for additional work in the future to increase its capacity. Providing additional funds to the Operations and Maintenance activities of the Corps in the River basin will go a long way towards beginning the work that must be done to protect those who live in the River bottom from a repeat of last year's flooding by allowing the Missouri River channel to handle greater flows of water."