WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), today met with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, the head of the Army Corps of Engineers. Cassidy pushed for the Corps to fully fund the Comite River Diversion and other flood mitigation projects in Louisiana.
Ensuring their completion is one of Cassidy’s top priorities, and the Corps will soon issue its project funding allocation decisions.
Today’s meeting follows Cassidy’s April 10 discussion with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Commander Colonel Michael Clancy, which focused on the same issues.
“Louisiana families in flood-prone areas have waited many years for progress on long-approved and sorely needed flood mitigation projects like Comite,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Thousands of homes could have been saved in 2016 if these projects had been completed, and in today’s meeting I emphasized the need for the Corps to fully fund Comite and other projects so we can expedite construction and give homeowners peace of mind.”
Congress gave the Corps an additional $15 billion in fiscal year 2018, of which the Corps is required by law to spend at least $10.425 billion on projects in states impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. These projects are eligible for 100 percent federal funding. Congress also changed the law so that projects whose costs have increased by over 20 percent—such as Comite—can be funded without a new congressional authorization.