ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - June 25, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 694 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4614.
The Chair designates the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Isakson) as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, and requests the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Upton) to assume the chair temporarily.
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Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
(Mr. HULSHOF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Chairman, I want to, first of all, say thank you to my friend for his kind words and the work that he has done on the upper Mississippi; and, two, the chairman of the subcommittee during general debate, the chairman talked about trying to find a balanced approach, and I applaud that; and I think the underlying bill does just that.
We certainly appreciate trying to fund the critical programs through the upper Mississippi River basin. Despite, quite frankly, the recent core budgets that have made this task extremely challenging, it is critical that adequate funding be provided to support a multiple-use river, as the gentleman from Wisconsin spoke of.
Whether it is the Environmental Management Plan that he spoke of to the navigation study and a comprehensive plan for flood control and floodplain management, the Mississippi River does, in fact, have diverse uses and, accordingly, diverse needs.
Again, I applaud the chairman and the subcommittee who have worked with our office and our constituents to make a difference in the basin. In fact, I know that the chairman has logged thousands of miles personally to inspect and view many of the civil works projects around the country, and I would be remiss if I did not extend a personal invitation to the gentleman to come to Missouri and to see the upper Mississippi and especially the locks and dams as the previous chairman did some years ago.
In fact, it was on that visit that we had a chance to view from the air some of the true benefits of the Environmental Management Plan specifically, and it really gave me a sense of a greater appreciation for what the Corps of Engineers was doing with the EMP. Already hundreds of acres of prime wetlands have been reclaimed, critical back waters have been restored, habitats are thriving. We are helping to promote flood control throughout the region, and we know too often, I think, the Corps of Engineers receives only barbs for its environmental record; but I think its successes in the EMP, which has really only been limited by funding issues, are indeed worthy of praise.
So accordingly, I support the bipartisan efforts of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kind), my friend, as well as the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hobson), to achieve this balanced approach to the management of one of our Nation's greatest natural resources, the mighty Mississippi.