2007 Scorecard Vote
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently has a backlog of more than $58 billion in previously authorized water projects--and an annual average appropriation of only $2 billion for completing them. Reformers have argued for creating an independent commission that could assess and prioritize these projects and direct funding away from "pork barrel" projects toward projects of real value and importance.
During consideration of H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization bill, Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and others offered an amendment to establish such a commission. On May 15, 2007, the amendment was defeated by a 22-69 vote (Senate roll call vote 165). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.
The reauthorization bill was later passed and then vetoed by President Bush. After Congress overrode the veto, the bill became law, giving the Corps of Engineers an additional $23 billion in water projects, without any safeguards in place to keep the money from supporting "pork" projects.