Published August 31 2011
Expectation lowered for federal help in retention projects to diminish Red River Valley flooding
Not so fast.
Facing the harsh reality of federal spending constraints, the veteran Democrat acknowledged Wednesday he needs to scale back his plans.
“It’s going to be more difficult, and that’s why I have to be realistic in what we can accomplish,” Peterson said, reflecting a significant shift in tone from previous months.
Peterson says he’s now hoping to get at least $300 million guaranteed toward boosting regional flood mitigation – but even that’s not a certainty.
This fall, a special committee of Congress will outline spending cuts for the federal budget.
However much the committee demands from agriculture will influence how much the Red River Valley might get for its water projects, Peterson said.
“We’re in Never-Never Land with this whole budget process,” he said. “Nobody has any idea what’s going to happen, other than we’re going to spend less money.”
Peterson, who represents western Minnesota, is the senior Democrat on the House Ag Committee.
Read more Thursday in The Forum.