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Smith Report 5.7.2015

Managing the Purse Strings
This week in Washington we worked to fund your priorities. This is the first time since 1974 that Congress has gotten such an early start on appropriating your tax dollars. This process gives us the opportunity to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely on what is most important to southeast and southern Missouri. It’s the right step to appropriating funds rather than passing temporary patches through continuing resolutions which give a blank check to the administration.
I had three priorities for the funding process that I incorporated into the bill passed in the House of Representatives. First, I pushed to bar the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using any funds to implement the Waters of the United States rule. This rule could potentially allow the EPA to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has flow during rainfall. The rule is too broad and could be interpreted to expand the EPA’s reach to cover all ponds, puddles, temporary or small wetlands, irrigation ditches or similar collections of water.
Next, I fought for funding for the Mississippi River and Tributaries project. This is the largest flood control project in the world, and I made sure this program had the proper funding to provide the flood control that all families in southeast Missouri deeply need.
Third, I secured language that provides funds for small inland ports like those in southeast Missouri. This provides the ports dredging funds that are important to keeping them open. Small ports and waterway traffic relieve highway congestion and are critical to moving agriculture and manufacturing goods across the country. This funding ensures waterways are navigable and protected.
Managing the purse strings is the best option to provide the most effective, efficient, accountable government. Since you elected me to be your voice in Congress, I have worked to restore regular order, pass funding bills and fully use the power of the purse given to the House of Representatives in our Constitution. This week we saw the funding process begin to work for the American people.