Mr. TERRY. Madam Chairman, I rise today with this amendment to the Energy and Water appropriations bill.
This amendment would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct and publish a study regarding the flooding of the Missouri River this year. We need to know why this flooding occurred, particularly if our flood control system was utilized for purposes other than flood prevention, so we can prevent this from happening in the future.
Let me be clear. I would assume the Corps of Engineers in charge of flood control would be doing an annual study of whether or not they are succeeding in their legislative-mandated goals, the whole purpose of the dams along the river. So we are just simply asking them to do what they should be doing anyway, especially when this is such an interesting--well, strike the word ``interesting''--devastating year based on the miscalculations of the Corps of Engineers.
As I am standing here now, the Missouri is flooding in five States, including Nebraska and Iowa. In my own district, I have constituents damaged, under water, wiped out. As we stand here, we are wondering if our levees are going to hold back the water preventing downtown Omaha from being [Page: H4816]
flooded. This is a 90-day sustained flood. It's entitled, ``The Great Missouri River Flood of 2011,'' not to recede until maybe October or November.
Anyone who lives near a powerful body of water knows flooding is a reality and must be expected or planned for. That's the whole point of these dams and the Corps of Engineers' purpose is to reduce the flooding. It's been successful since the dams have been put in except for the last couple of years.
It's imperative that we investigate the decisions, guidelines, and parameters in place to do the flooding to determine if there was any possibility that this disaster could have and, I would say, should have been prevented.
We must implement the necessary additional reforms and controls to ensure our flood control system is utilized for just that, Madam Chairman, flood control.
The issue, well documented in our local papers and some other publications, has shown that either the manual that the Corps of Engineers swears by leads them down the wrong path, which then led to this disaster that we are incurring at this moment, or that their modeling--and/or their modeling. There were other weather experts that predicted, one even said a flood of Biblical proportions, yet it wasn't on the Corps of Engineers' radar.
Something went terribly wrong here. So all we are doing is asking that there be specific language that they do what is inherent to their job and determine if their manuals, their models need to be changed to prevent the devastating flood that we are incurring right now to prevent the next one in the future. That's all we are doing with this amendment here.
I yield back the balance of my time.
POINT OF ORDER
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Madam Chairman, I make a point of order against this amendment because it proposes to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.
The rule states in pertinent part: ``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.'' The amendment imposes additional duties.
I ask for a ruling from the Chair.
The Acting CHAIR. Does any other Member wish to speak to the gentleman's point of order?