1993 Scorecard Vote
The Kissimmee River in central Florida is the headwater of the Everglades-Lake Okeechobee-Kissimmee River watershed. This once-meandering river provided water storage for the Everglades system as well as habitat for a vast array of birds and other animals. In the name of flood control, the Army Corps of Engineers channelized the river, draining valuable wetlands habitat and opening up the basin for intensified agricultural use. Two hundred thousand acres of marshland were drained, driving away 90% of the native waterfowl and robbing the Everglades of its primary watershed.
In 1992, working with the state of Florida, Congress acted to reverse the Corps plan under the Water Resources Development Act. The act required the restoration of the Kissimmee Basin to its previous water flow. It undertook the Headwater Revitalization Project, designed to restore lake levels in the upper basin and provide enough water so that the Kissimmee River would flow naturally, helping save the Everglades.
Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) offered an amendment to the fiscal 1994 Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee bill to strike $5 million from the Kissimmee River ecosystem restoration project. This amendment was rejected on June 24, 1993 by a vote of 100-324. NO was the pro-environmental position.