Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, this amendment that decreases a line item by a million dollars and then increases it by a million dollars is the parliamentarily approved method by which we direct some intent into this appropriation legislation that we have.
As a lot of the world knows by now, and as I viewed from this morning as it was getting light as we took off from the Omaha airport, we have water that is a mile to as wide as 11 miles wide, and that's just getting to Missouri, and it may well be wider downstream Missouri. The Missouri River itself, which flooded in 1952, and in that year it was the last flood they hoped for all time. They built the Pick-Sloan program. That is six dams in the Upper Missouri River. The Corps of Engineers' construction
of those was designed to prevent a flood of similar magnitude of 1952.
What has happened is that in 1952--for awhile this year they had the largest amount of water to flow down the Missouri River--came down in 1952 in April, and that was 13.2 million acre-feet of water. In May of this year, coming out of the Missouri River, it was 10.5 million acre-feet of water. And one might think we can deal with that. Well, we could not.
We are flooded, and this water is going to stay up now for another month or longer. And we got the records from June of this year, and that became not 13.2 but 13.8 million acre-feet, more water in a single month than to ever come down the Missouri River since we have been keeping records. And, Mr. Chairman, that is just 2 months, and this continues. This year will be the largest volume of water to go down the Missouri River since we have been keeping records.
Mr. KING of Iowa. I will personally deliver it to you if this version is okay.
The CHAIR. The gentleman from Iowa controls the time.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This year, we will see more water come down the Missouri River than ever before in recorded history. And the result is the Corps of Engineers is releasing 160,000 cubic feet per second from Gavins Point Dam. That is the lowest one of the six dams. What it [Page: H4800]
brings about is massive flooding all of the way down the river for a sustained period of time.
Now I'm not here to take issue with the design, the engineering, or the management of this river; but what this amendment does is it takes a million dollars out and puts a million dollars back in. What I'm asking is to direct the Corps of Engineers to conduct a new study and come back and let us know how they would have had to manage this river in the event that they had been able to see this massive amount of water coming, how they would have been able to protect not only all of the people downstream
from each of these reservoirs, but also the additional component of that is although a year ago last May we had record flooding in the tributaries downstream from Gavins Point, the dam that is the lowest. We need to be able to look at two catastrophic events. All of this snow runoff and rain that we got, particularly
in Montana in the mountains, coupled with the record rainfall coming down the tributaries from below Gavins Point Dam that we saw a year ago last May, those two laid on top of each other, how do they have to manage the reservoirs for the purposes of protecting all of that valuable real estate and infrastructure.
My constituents have spent millions of dollars to try to protect themselves. They built miles of levee, watching the water come down the river. They have hauled dirt with water coming up on one side of the levee. This amendment urges and actually directs the Corps of Engineers to commence with that study. And we will have more information as it unfolds. I urge its adoption.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, we have not had a chance to really study the implications of the gentleman's amendment.
First of all, we would like to extend our sympathy to the gentleman, his constituents, and to many Members of Congress and those affected by the devastation and, in many cases, loss of life, loss of income and livelihood. But we are not quite sure what $1 million in and $1 million out means, and we need a little more time to further investigate.
Would the gentleman be willing to work with us to accomplish this objective without moving ahead on the amendment? Would you be willing to work with the committee, the ranking member and yours truly?
Mr. KING of Iowa. I think the chairman has made a significant point here. Sometimes we are playing catch-up. I would like to have had the lead work done so that this information was out in front of the majority and the minority. I think you've seen the water coming down the river. But I would ask this, that if we are willing to work on this, Democrats and Republicans, to bring about a review of the master manual management, then I would ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. We are highly sympathetic to working with the gentleman and look forward to working with him to address this crisis and what he is talking about, future crises and devastation.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. I would be happy to work with the chairman, but I would note, we are on page 3 of the bill and would hope that as we proceed today and into the future, that we have advance notice of amendments. So I would direct my comment in this case to the gentleman from Iowa and those who may be thinking about offering additional amendments. But I would be happy to work with the chairman on this issue.
Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.
The CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
There was no objection.
The CHAIR. The Clerk will read.