U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, Angie Craig and Ron Kind sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget earlier this week, pushing for the distribution of $100 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to address the impacts of this spring’s devastating floods along the Mississippi River.
The funds were included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, and were signed into law by President Trump in June 2019.
Those funds have not yet been disbursed so USACE can do their jobs.
“The Inland Waterway System is the transportation artery of the heartland. If this vital segment of the Mississippi River is not maintained to its fully authorized width and depth, the nation’s agricultural community will face severe economic consequences in a year of already troublesome market and weather conditions. Congress and the Administration must take decisive action to restore the reliability of one of our great nation’s key trade corridors,” said McCollum, Craig, and Kind in the letter.
Right now, the immediate concern remains keeping the Mississippi River operational for commercial use, which requires additional dredging because of excess sediment build-up this spring.
The river is responsible for one-sixth of the nation’s intercity cargo and 25% of foreign exports.