Skelton, Bond, McCaskill protest spending for Missouri River study
By: Press Office of U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton
Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2010) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators, Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), urged the top appropriators in both the U.S. House and Senate to refuse funding for the needless Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study. The letter was addressed to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Congressman David R. Obey (D-Wisc.).
“In 2004, a 15-year-long, $35 million Missouri River study was completed that, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has provided necessary management guidance for the Missouri River. It just doesn’t make sense — especially in light of the large federal budget deficit — for the American people to continue to pay for a new study so soon after the last one was completed. Simply put, more federal appropriations for the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study would be wasteful and counterproductive,” said Skelton.
“The future of the river downstream, where the large majority of users live, remains in energy production, water supply, and energy and cost efficient transportation that is clean,” said Bond. “There is no need to waste millions of tax payer dollars for the Corps of Engineers to come to the same conclusion. This duplicative study isn’t fair to the tax payer and just makes no sense.”
Sen. McCaskill added: “This study is duplicative of a study done six years ago and is not the way we should be spending taxpayer dollars. My colleagues from Missouri and I will keep fighting to convince the rest of the House and Senate that this is a waste, especially considering our record deficits this year.”
A copy of the letter is attached. _____
May 5, 2010
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee S-128, the Capitol Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable David R. Obey Chairman, House Appropriations Committee H-218, the Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Inouye and Chairman Obey,
The Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act authorized the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study to examine the original project purposes of the Missouri River basin as authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. In Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, Congress appropriated over $7.6 million to carry out this study.
Since its inception, we have opposed the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study because it is wasteful and because its advocates have not shown that there have been any changes in the Missouri River basin since the completion of the last Missouri River study in 2004. The 2004 review of Missouri River policies, which took 15 years to conduct and which cost taxpayers $35 million, resulted in the Missouri River Master Water Control Manual (Master Manual). The Corps has indicated, as recently as April 2010, that the Master Manual continues to provide the necessary management guidance to meet the contemporary needs of the Missouri River basin.
While the authorization for the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study is law, funding for the study is subject to annual Congressional appropriations. In light of the federal government’s budgetary challenges and the wasteful, duplicative nature of the study, we feel strongly that Congress should direct no more funds to this endeavor.
With kind regards, we are
Sincerely, Ike Skelton, Member of Congress Kit Bond, United States Senator Claire McCaskill, United States Senator
Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.