Sam Graves

(Washington, D.C.) -- Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves is celebrating the passage of a bill he backed that seeks "better, stronger, quicker" solutions to flood control on the Missouri River.

Earlier this week, the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. The bill was introduced by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, of which Graves is the ranking member. In a previous interview with KMA News, the Tarkio Republican said the bill would help communities still recovering from the 2019 flooding along the river.

"Now, we're in the situation where they build back to the same levels every time," said Graves. "Then, they have to turn right back around, and do it again. This is going to allow us some latitude on this. It prohibitions the construction of what we call Interception Rearing Complexes--or IRCs. These are habitat development experiments that have been proven not to work, and they create problems when it comes to management of the river for us as individuals. So, we have put a prohibition on any more of those being constructed."

Graves say the bill also contains provisions allowing for the construction of stronger levees, providing more protection for areas struck by floodwaters last year.

"We've allowed for non-federal levees, the corps to be able to come in, and provide assistance in fixing those levees," he said, "because it is a system up and down. And, if you only have part of our levees in, and part of them aren't in, because they're not federal levees, then you're still going to flood. It's going to flood right behind the non-federal levees, and create the same problems."

The bill additionally includes money for upgrades to locks and dams along the Mississippi River.