St. Louis Public Radio News
2:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2003

Rep. Emerson Voices Concern Over Corps' Budget

Washington, DC – Southeast Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson says waterways would be more susceptible to terrorism if the Bush administration shifts dollars away from lock and dam improvements.

The Corps of Engineers' budget was the topic of an appropriations committee meeting in Washington Wednesday.

At issue is a proposal to pay for routine maintenance and operations with money from a different account that's supposed to pay just for major construction to upgrade ports, locks, and dams, and not regular operating costs.

Emerson, a Republican, asked how the corps could finish security upgrades when it also faces a $1 billion backlog in regular maintenance and operations. But lawmakers didn't press corps officials for answers.