January 31, 2009
$4.5 billion for Corps in stimulus bill
The latest AWO newsletter reports that the economic stimulus bill (H.R. 1) that passed the full House on January 28 by a vote of 244 to 188 Includes $4.5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, divided into portions that include $2 billion for Construction; $2.225 billion for Operations and Maintenance; $250 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries account; and, $25 million for the regulatory account.
H.R. 1 neither requires a match in spending from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) nor does it include earmarks. Any lock and dam projects that are funded must consist of work on existing structures rather than new projects.
Additionally, it includes preferential language directing funds toward lock and dam projects that are labor-intensive and that can be completed within two years. The House version of this bill would leave decisions to the Corps on what individual projects get funded.
On January 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 1. This package provides the Corps with $4.6 billion, including: $2 billion for Construction; $1.9 billion for Operations and Maintenance; $500 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries account; $25 million for the regulatory account; $25 million for investigations; $100 million for the Formerly Used Sites Remedial Action Program; and, $50 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies.
If the House and Senate bills contain differing components when passed, a conference committee containing members from both chambers will need to meet and reconcile those differences before President Obama has an opportunity to sign the legislation.