WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is cosponsoring two bills introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri to help address recurrent flooding and the Army Corps of Engineers’ management of the Missouri River. These bills prioritize flood control on the Missouri River and give farmers and local communities a seat at the table.
“The recent flooding of the Missouri River has devastated families, farmers and business owners in Iowa and throughout the Midwest. Flood control must be a top priority for the Army Corps of Engineers,” Grassley said. “The Civilian Advisory Council made up of farmers and others on the river is important to instruct the Corps on how its actions affect those living along the river.”
The Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control Civilian Advisory Council Act would create an advisory council, appointed by the President in consultation with the Senate, with two members from each state in which the Missouri River flows. The council would be responsible for making recommendations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on how to prioritize flood control and navigation in the master manual. The legislation would require that the council include representation from agriculture and other river commerce industries. The council would be responsible for submitting a report with its recommendations to the USACE and Congress after one year.
The Missouri Flood Control Prioritization Act would require the USACE to make flood control management the highest priority purpose on the Missouri River system. Under the legislation, fish and wildlife would no longer be an authorized purpose and therefore cannot be given priority over levees and other flood control systems that protect landowners and communities along the Missouri River system. Additionally, the Chief of Engineers would revise the Missouri River Master Manual to reflect making flood control the highest priority of the operations of the Missouri River system and the policy change must be enacted within 90 days of the bill’s passage.
Grassley has been a leader and advocate on flood recovery efforts in the Senate. He recently spoke on the Senate floor about the devastation caused by the floods and penned an op-ed on the topic. Grassley has also worked extensively with Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa to address communications shortcomings by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding flooding.