Obama Cuts Army Corps of Engineers’ Budget

Posted February 19, 2016 at 6:10pm

The Obama administration is proposing $4.6 billion in budget authority for the Army Corps of Engineers for fiscal 2017, a 2 percent decrease from what it proposed in its fiscal 2016 budget blueprint and a 23 percent cut from what Congress enacted.

The request fits the pattern of the past few years in which the administration has proposed what congressional appropriators regard as unrealistically low spending levels for the Corps, which builds and maintains locks, dams, harbors and flood control infrastructure.

In its fiscal 2017 proposal released earlier this month, the administration says it wants to cut $808 million, or about 40 percent, from the Corps spending on what the administration calls “Low Priority Studies and Construction.” This is nearly 65 percent larger than a cut it proposed in its budget plan last year.

The administration also seeks a $432 million reduction from Corps operations and maintenance spending, more than twice as big a cut it proposed in the fiscal 2016 budget plan.

As it did in last year’s budget, the administration is proposing to raise revenue from the barge and towboat industry by imposing an annual per-vessel fee for use of inland waterways.