Statement of Senator Jim Jeffords
Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing on
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and
Water Resources Programs
June 18, 2002
Today we are going to hear from the Administration and a panel of witnesses on the Army Corps of Engineers water resources programs. Since the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, every Administration has submitted a biennial legislative proposal to the Congress, containing project authorizations and policy initiatives. I understand a proposal from the Acting Assistant Secretary is at the Office of Management and Budget. However, we have not received a proposal yet.
There is very little time remaining in this legislative session. If we want to act this year, we are going to have to move forward.
Working with Senator Smith and members of this Committee, I hope to introduce a legislative proposal before the July 4th work period.
Many want the legislative proposal that this Committee considers to include what is being referred to as Corps reform. There have been press reports and GAO reports suggesting that the Corps needs an overhaul.
One of the reasons we are here today is to get input from our witnesses on possible changes to the Corps' water resources programs - how the Corps could be more effective and efficient.
Senator Smith and Senator Feingold, who is joining us this afternoon, have introduced legislation that would make several changes in the way the Corps does business.
I intend to consider all views and work to develop legislation that will keep the Corps on its biennial planning schedule and help the Corps deliver their much needed services of storm damage reduction, navigation and environmental restoration.