Durbin Meets with Illinois Corn Growers to Discuss Mississippi River Navigation and Other Agricultural Priorities
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) to discuss bipartisan, bicameral legislation he introduced last week that would help the Army Corps of Engineers better maintain navigation on the Mississippi River during extreme weather and improve the nation’s water infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Both bills were endorsed by the ICGA earlier today. At a speech today to members of the national Waterways Council, ICGA presented Durbin with an award for his efforts to keep the Mississippi River navigable during this winter’s low-water crisis. The award is made of a rock from one of the pinnacles that was demolished in order to increase drafts and improve navigation along the river.
“Illinois’ corn growers are a critical part of our state’s economy,” said Durbin. “Last year, severe drought conditions damaged corn crops throughout downstate Illinois and nearly halted traffic along the Mississippi River. I want to thank the ICGA for honoring me with this award and recognize the Army Corps of Engineers and local members of the industry and agriculture communities for all of their work to keep the river open to navigation during this winter’s low-water crisis. I have introduced two bills to improve our national water infrastructure and make us better prepared for the next extreme weather event that might threaten navigation on the Mississippi River in the future.”
Last week, Durbin joined with U.S. Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) to introduce the bipartisan Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act which would bolster efforts to maintain commercial river traffic during droughts and floods while minimizing the economic toll on Southern Illinois. He also joined with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) to introduce the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act which would improve the nation’s water infrastructure – including locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers – through public-private partnerships that would expedite projects and save taxpayers money.
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