Uncertainty remains on long-awaiting funding for locks modernization on the Upper Mississippi
and Illinois Rivers, reflected in testimony this week by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue hedged this week on whether he’d press for funding for new 12-hundred foot locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, key for Midwest grain producers.
The Secretary’s comments added new uncertainty to the fate of seven new locks on the rivers, authorized 10-years ago in the 2007 WRRDA bill, dashing optimism raised early in the Trump Administration that a leaked unofficial list may have included inland waterways projects. Illinois Democrat Cheri Bustos at this week’s Perdue hearing…tape
Which the Obama Administration didn’t do and which Bustos is now asking Perdue to press for in any Trump infrastructure plan. But the Secretary would not commit…tape
Apparently referring to the timing and planning of construction. But Midwest lawmakers have been pursuing new locks for decades and Bustos reminded Perdue the locks in her northwestern Illinois district were built in the 1930s. She invited Perdue to come to her district and look for himself, at the ancient locks. Perdue visited a grain barge loading facility last week in Ohio.