Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertakes activities to maintain navigable channels, reduce flood and storm damage, and restore aquatic ecosystems. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities. This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Corps. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Omnibus Authorization Legislation. Congress generally authorizes numerous Corps activities and provides policy direction in an omnibus Corps authorization bill, typically called the Water Resources Development Act WRDA or more recently the Water Resources Reform and Development Act WRRDA. A WRRDA 2014 P.L. 113-121 was enacted on June 10, 2014. WRDAs historically are omnibus bills including many provisions for site-specific activities. How to construct a WRDA bill that complied with House rules related to a moratorium on earmarks complicated WRDA consideration in the 112th Congress, but these issues were resolved in the 113th Congress. Agency Appropriations. Federal funding for Corps civil works activities is provided in annual Energy and Water Development appropriations acts or supplemental appropriations acts. Annual Corps civil works appropriations have ranged from 4.5 billion to 5.5 billion during the last decade. An increasing share of the agency s appropriations is used for operations and maintenance. Another trend has been increasing emergency supplemental appropriations. From 1987 to 2013, Congress appropriated 32.2 billion in Corps supplemental funding. Of this funding, 30.8 billion came through acts passed between 2003 and 2013. This funding was more than half of the Corps regular appropriations over the same period 55 billion. In part because of competition for funds and because Corps authorizations outpace appropriations, many authorized activities have not received appropriations.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Engineering
- Water Pollution and Control