Congressman Cleaver is pleased to announce that his amendment to the House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, together with Congressman Patrick Murphy of Florida, just passed unanimously by voice vote on the House floor. The amendment would increase the Army Corps of Engineers Construction Account by $1 million. This funding increase will help flood control projects that communities in Missouri’s Fifth District are fighting to finish.
Flood control projects are crucial to protecting lives and maintaining the economic vitality of the Kansas City metro area. Many local projects along the Missouri, Kansas, and Blue Rivers rely on annual funding from the Energy and Water Appropriations to safeguard residents and business against flood damage. Robust funding for the Corps’ Construction Account is vital to get these projects across the finish line.
The text of the Congressman’s Floor speech is below:
“Thank you, first, Mr. Murphy, and to the Ranking Member and Chair of the Committee. Our amendment would transfer a modest amount, as Mr. Murphy stated, $1 million, between the Corps’ Expenses account to the Construction account. This boost in funding can help flood control projects that communities, including several in my district, that we are pushing in hopes that they can be completed.
“The United States has, as I believe we all know, an aging water infrastructure system and a colossal $80 billion backlog in Army Corps projects. Over 1,000 authorized projects vigorously compete for funding. This is understandable when you consider the fact that America’s levees, dams, and inland waterways were given a grade of D by the American Society of Civil Engineers in their 2013 Report Card. How can we expect our economy to flourish when its bedrock is deteriorating?
“Water infrastructure funding is vital to my district and it sits at the confluence of several rivers, and flood control projects protect thousands of lives and billions in economic investment.
“One such project, Swope Park Industrial Area, lies within a 100-year floodplain. When it floods, access to and from the park is cut off, risking the lives of over 400 workers. Without a 7,000 foot floodwall and levee, those 400 workers and over $61 million in manufacturing remain unprotected.
“Another project in my district, Dodson Industrial Park, is ready to start its final phase, but until that that final segment is completed and connected to the rest of the project, the investments of $250 million within the park, remain at risk.
“Mr. Chairman, most Army Corps projects contain agreements between the federal government and local communities to share the funding and responsibility for their construction. It is time for the federal government to hold up its end of the agreement, for us to step up to the plate and fully invest in our water infrastructure. I want to thank Mr. Murphy for his collaboration on this amendment and I yield back, Mr. Speaker.”
The final version of the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 will be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow. Congressman Cleaver’s full speech may be viewed here.