U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9th District) announced last week that this past summer's Missouri River flooding will be the focus of a hearing being held by the House Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on Nov. 30 in Washington, D.C.
Luetkemeyer and 13 of his colleagues from the House Missouri River Working Group aggressively pushed for this hearing, formally requesting it in an Oct. 12 letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica.
"Our river communities were severely affected by flooding this past year due to significant water releases into the Missouri River Basin. This hearing will examine the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' actions and responses as well as review ways in which states and the federal government can better facilitate cooperation on future flood events," Luetkemeyer said. "I believe that the corps is juggling too many competing interests. Too much emphasis has been placed on habitat restoration and compliance with the Endangered Species Act instead of on the protection of life and property, as well as navigation."
Luetkemeyer serves on the House Missouri River Working Group, created earlier this year in part to highlight the disparity between funding for endangered species and ecosystem restoration, and funding for operations and maintenance of flood control systems. The group will continue to work together in order to call attention to the ongoing issues surrounding management of the Missouri River.
The House Missouri River Working Group was created by U.S. Rep. Krisit Noem (SD). Luetkemeyer and Missouri U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, Jo Ann Emerson, Todd Akin, Lacy Clay, Sam Graves, Russ Carnahan, Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long serve on the panel. U.S. Reps. Rick Berg (ND), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Lynn Jenkins (KS), Steve King (IA), Tom Latham (IA), Denny Rehberg (MT), Lee Terry (NE) and Kevin Yoder (KS) also serve on the panel.