1981 Scorecard Vote
Pritchard (R-WA) - Edgar (D-PA) amendment to the fiscal year 1982 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill to remove $189 million for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. This "three billion dollar ditch" is the most expensive and perhaps most controversial project ever undertaken by the Corps of Engineers. The cost of the project has shot up tenfold since construction began, and stopping it now would save taxpayers an estimated $1.6 billion.
This waterway will cut through a mountain ridge to link the Tennessee River with the Tombigbee River in order to provide a shorter route to the Gulf of Mexico. It would destroy over 100,000 acres of forest, farmland, wetland and wildlife habitat along the Tombigbee River. But it provides no hydropower, flood control, irrigation or water supply benefits to anyone. All it provides is a barge canal running roughly parallel to the Mississippi River in an area already well served by railroads. The U.S. General Accounting Office has thoroughly discredited the Corps' economic arguments for the project. Only the clout of a few senior Congressmen and Senators has kept this project alive. Amendment rejected 198-208; July 23, 1981. YES is the pro-environmental vote.