ARLINGTON, Va – Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) is encouraged, according to a press release, by the House Appropriations Committee’s approval last week of its version of the FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill and an amendment offered by House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen providing $1.028 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair damage caused by recent storms and floods on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and to prepare for future disasters.
The emergency funding is offset by a rescission of the remaining emergency High Speed Rail funding that was originally approved in the stimulus bill. The emergency funding in the amendment must still go through the legislative process in the House and the Senate, and under even the best-case scenario, may not be available until the fall. Accordingly, WCI again calls on the Obama Administration to immediately submit to Congress a request for emergency supplemental appropriations to address the dredging and other related needs that have arisen on the entire Mississippi River system, and particularly on the Lower Mississippi River, as a result of the unprecedented high water on that system this year.
“While we appreciate the action taken by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday, we need immediate funding to address the problems we face on the river system right now,” said Cornel Martin, President/CEO of WCI, in a statement. “Our nation’s waterways system, recently ravaged by natural disasters, needs critical funding to help restore damage caused by flooding and high-water in order to allow our exports to continue to reach world markets and our economy to rebound,” Martin continued.