Washington, D.C. — The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today called on Congress to provide an appropriation of at least $6.8 billion for the Corps of Engineers Civil Works program in FY 2009.
"Unfortunately tragedies like the Midwest floods highlight the deficiencies in America's critical infrastructure. AGC has been trying to get Congress and the Administration to focus on the massive documented needs for levees, locks and dams," said AGC's chief executive officer, Stephen E. Sandherr. "Our request for this appropriations cycle is to invest now in America's critical infrastructure. The $6.8 billion that we are urging represents a small down payment toward covering the nation's staggering waterways investment gap. In order to maintain our economic competitiveness and national security, we must be willing to make the necessary investments in our critical infrastructure."
The Administration's proposal of $4.4 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program is short sighted. It demonstrates a failure to invest in the nation's water resources infrastructure by proposing an $800 million cut over what was enacted by Congress for FY 2008. AGC and its members have long advocated for investment in flood protection efforts to secure homes, businesses and other critical infrastructure from devastating floodwaters.
"The recent flooding in the Midwest highlights the magnitude of need for new investments in improved flood control, increasing navigation capacity and ecosystem restoration," added Sandherr.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors and 12,500 specialty–contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org. AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life."