The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill being considered by the Senate contains many important projects. There is little disagreement about the need to properly maintain our aging federal infrastructure, or to provide for critical national flood control priorities.
Where there is doubt, however, is in Congress’ ability to prioritize federal spending and national infrastructural needs. By taking up this bill before emergency funding has been provided to U.S. troops on the frontlines, Congress has failed to take care of national security needs before addressing its own parochial interests.
Every day, American families make tough spending choices. When a family has to choose between replacing a roof blown off in a recent storm or building a swimming pool in the backyard that the family has been dreaming about for sometime, what do they choose? Most families would rebuild the roof first. But if a family followed Congress’ example, they would raid their children’s college fund and empty their own retirement fund to build the swimming pool, purchase a flat screen TV, buy a new sports car and then repair the roof.
In addition to the hundreds of newly authorized projects in this bill, the Corps already faces a backlog in excess of 500 projects, or $58 billion. Before this bill become law, Congress must consider alternatives that will allow the Corps and Congress to more effectively establish national priorities, and maintain and manage current assets.
Dr. Coburn plans to file three amendments to the WRDA bill that will highlight Congress’ responsibility to make common sense decisions between competing priorities, just like American families do every day.
Coburn Amendment 1089 - This amendment requires that the housing needs of all Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are met before spending money to design or construct a visitors center near Morgan City, Louisiana.
Coburn Amendment 1090 - This amendment requires that the residents of Sacramento be protected from the threat of floods before federal funds are spent to add sand to beaches in San Diego. WiLDCOAST, a group dedicated to preserving coastal ecosystems and wildlife in the Californias and Latin America by building grassroots support, conducting media campaigns and establishing protected areas, supports Amendment 1090.
Coburn Amendment 1091 - This amendment would provide emergency funding for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan without unnecessary pork-barrel spending and without mandating surrender or retreat
Americans For Prosperity has endorsed Dr. Coburn's amendments to the WRDA bill.
The National Taxpayers Union supports the Coburn amendments and says the three amendments will be significantly weighted in the group's annual rating of Congress.
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