Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson is pleased with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? decision to invest over $829 million to modernize locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
During her weekly press call Thursday morning, Hinson said the funding will be used to complete the modernization of Lock & Dam 25, including the construction of a new 1,200-foot lock, an environmental restoration project at Lock & Dam 22, and other small-scale ecosystem and navigation projects in the region.
?The lock and dam system along the Upper Mississippi is crucial to our agriculture economy in Iowa and also our country?s entire supply chain,? said Hinson. ?Over 60 percent of our nation?s grain exports travel through this lock and dam system.?
Hinson says infrastructure improvements along the Upper Mississippi is an issue frequently brought up by her constituents.
?I?ve gotten a lot of outreach already from our commodity producers in Iowa. My phone was lighting up yesterday with people who were happy to hear this news. It?s about access to markets and our producers want to make sure that access is continued.?
Hinson was then asked what her response is to critics who claim she is taking credit for the lock and dam funding which was a part of the infrastructure bill that she voted against. Hinson says she supports and advocates for targeted infrastructure investments.
?The infrastructure package in the House wasn?t targeted, and it was tied to trillions of dollars in additional spending,? said Hinson. ?This is where we are. It passed, and if there?s federal money up for grabs, I?m absolutely going to fight as hard as I can to make sure Iowa?s tax dollars are reinvested back home. I think it goes without saying, but I am always going to fight for what?s best for our communities. If the federal government is going to spend money that has been allocated, I want it to be spent in Iowa and not elsewhere. If there?s federal money on the table, do you think I?m going to sit back and let that go to states like California and New York? Hell no. I?m going to make sure as much of it comes back to Iowa.?
The Army Corps? announcement came one month after Hinson, Senator Chuck Grassley and other lawmakers sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to the Corps requesting the administration prioritize funding along the Upper Mississippi.