Rehberg Secures Supplemental Disaster Relief Funding for Floods – Protects Montana’s Private Property Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 17, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today supported an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill to provide emergency funding in response to flooding in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins. The funding comes as counties across Montana face severe flooding from a combination of high snowpack and high precipitation. Montana’s governor has declared a State of Emergency and has asked for a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

“I’m doing my part to make sure the help Montana families need is ready to go once the President gives us the green light,” said Rehberg. “We were able to prioritize this emergency funding while working within the framework of budget limitations. That means we get people the help they need without asking our kids and grandkids to foot the bill.”

The amendment adds $1.028 billion for, among other things, flood control efforts and operation and maintenance of emergency response efforts. Consistent with House rules, these emergency funds do not increase the deficit. In fact, the overall legislation totals $30.6 billion, $5.9 billion below the President’s request and $1 billion below last year’s funding level.

The full committee also rejected an amendment offered by Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) to strike language Rehberg inserted in the bill. Rehberg’s language would prevent an unprecedented expansion of authority under the Clean Water Act by prohibiting the Corps of Engineers from expanding its jurisdiction to include “non-navigable” waters. The Supreme Court twice rejected similar attempts by the agency to expand its jurisdiction. Rehberg’s language will prevent the federal government from assuming control over puddles, groundwater and irrigation canals, preserving state and individual water rights in the West. Moran’s amendment failed by a vote of 27-21.

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