Congressman Steve King announced last week that he has written to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to ask that funding for the reconstruction of levees and other flood mitigation infrastructure damaged during this year's Missouri River flooding be given priority over spending on environmental projects in the forthcoming Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Bill dealing with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work.
King was joined on the letter by other members of Missouri's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives and several other lawmakers who represent communities in the Missouri River basin.
King released the following statement regarding the letter and the need to ensure the corps focuses its efforts on the reconstruction of flood mitigation infrastructure:
"Over the last decade, we have watched as the corp's spending on environmental concerns has exploded, while, at the same time, its funding of flood prevention work has dwindled," King said. "This year's flooding wreaked havoc on levees and other infrastructure up and down the river. The severity and length of the flood pushed many levees to their breaking point, with some washing out altogether. In this time of record debt and deficits, we need to make sure we're placing the highest priority possible on every dollar spent from the Treasury. And right now, with whole communities unable to begin the rebuilding process and farmers up and down the river facing triple flood insurance premiums in the absence of repaired levees, the highest priority for the use of federal funds in the Missouri River basin is to get the levees and other infrastructure rebuilt to their pre-flood specifications."
King was joined by nine other members in the letter to to the House Appropriations Committee leaders, including Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo.; Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.; Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.; Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa; Rep. Bruce Braley D-Iowa; Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan.