Industry groups aren’t happy about President Bush’s proposed fiscal 2009 budget for the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program. The $4.7-billion request is down 15% from this year’s appropriations. John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant Army secretary for civil works, calls the proposal “a frugal budget that reflects the priorities of a nation at war.” The 2009 figure excludes $5.8 billion Bush is seeking for emergency flood-control work around New Orleans.
The industry will lobby Congress to reject the cuts, but Bush will fight to limit non-defense spending. John Doyle, Waterways Council Inc. vice president for government relations, says 2008’s $5.6 billion will probably be “pretty close to the ceiling” Congress can be expected to approve for the Corps in 2009.