WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved record funding for the Army Corps of Engineers. This funding package will allow the Corps to tackle critical programs and projects, including important flood control and dredging work in Louisiana.
The Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill contains $6.2 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers.
“As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I have fought to secure funding that is vital to Louisiana families and businesses,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Waterways are to Louisiana what the oil wells are to Texas and the orange groves are to California. They are our lifeblood, but they also must be safeguarded and maintained. This bill accomplishes that. I will work with Lt. Gen. Semonite to ensure that Louisiana’s priorities are met. My work on behalf of Louisiana isn’t over.”
Sen. Kennedy’s priorities going forward include:
- Finishing the Comite River Diversion Canal.
- Dredging Louisiana’s shipping channels, from Calcasieu to the Atchafalaya, to the Mississippi River to the Red River all the way down to the Houma Navigational Canal.
- Ensuring that homes and businesses across Louisiana are better protected from devastating flooding.
- Investing in and maintaining water-centered commerce and infrastructure.
Army Corps of Engineers- Provides record funding of $6.2 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. Included in the funding is the following:
- Provides $1.7 billion for their construction account.
- The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project can compete for funding from a $20 million pool in order to continue construction in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.
- Provides $3.48 billion for the Corps Operation and Maintenance account.
- At least $160 million will be dedicated to levee protection, dredging, river bed cleanup and debris removal in Louisiana.
- Provides $375 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT) account.
- The operation and maintenance of the Tensas Basin, the Atchafalaya Basin, the Baton Rouge Harbor, Bayou Cocodrie, Bonnet Care and other tributaries will benefit.
- Provides $1.34 billion the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). This represents a $40 million increase from last year.
Delta Regional Authority- The bill provided $25 million, which includes $10 million set aside for flood control, basic public infrastructure development and transportation improvements for the eight states of the Delta region, which include Louisiana.
- To date, the Delta Regional Authority has invested in more than 200 projects providing more than $28 million in projects in Louisiana.
Department of Energy- This bill also provides stable funding for the Department of Energy. The bill prioritizes and increases funding for energy programs that encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and that will advance an “all-of-the-above” solution to U.S. energy independence.
- Includes $4 million to support the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence. This program was created after the passage of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014.