Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address concerns that many of my colleagues have expressed to me regarding maintenance to the Lower Mississippi River deep draft navigation channel. As the Chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I am well aware of the economic benefits provided by the Mississippi River system that connects approximately 30 States in our Nation's heartland with international markets. Accordingly, the Subcommittee works hard to ensure that the Lower Mississippi River deep draft navigation channel is maintained by the Corps to meet export and import trade and other domestic transportation needs.
As Congress considers the Continuing Resolution for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011, I want to assure my colleagues that I have provided sufficient flexibility within the $2,361,000,000 in the operation and maintenance account for the Corps to maintain the Lower Mississippi River deep draft navigation channel to adequately meet our transportation needs. It is our intent that the Corps recognizes the economic importance of navigation on the Lower Mississippi River when allocating these funds.