U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said today that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget problems are leaving people in Louisiana in danger and could cause economic trouble. This week it was reported that the Corps had massive cost overruns on projects to protect pump stations in New Orleans from flooding. Today a report from the National Research Council said the Corps faces an unsustainable situation in maintaining the country's water infrastructure.
"I'm afraid the Corps is back to their old norm -- a vicious cycle of bureaucracy, delay and cost overruns -- and it seems to be returning with a vengeance," Vitter said. "First we need to find out exactly where their funding and contracting miscues are coming from; then we need to make necessary reforms to cut through red tape and make their handling of flood control projects much more efficient. There are clear safety risks for backlogged and over budget flood control projects, but they could also be putting our economic recovery at risk if they are unable to sustain our country's water infrastructure."
Vitter has a bipartisan bill which would create a pilot program aimed at eliminating red tape and expediting backlogged Corps projects by delegating more project management responsibility to state and local governments.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT