McConnell Debt Ceiling Payoff? $2 billion for Kentucky dam project

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was part of the leadership who brought today’s debt-ceiling legislation into play. The Republican certainly has been labeled a member of the RINO club in the past, but was he willing to fold in part for a $2 billion federal payoff?

So, how does $2 billion for a state project taste to the senator? Here is a brief portion of a post on Senate Conservative Fund.

The McConnell-Reid bill not only funds Obamacare and suspends the debt limit, it ALSO includes a provision in Section 123 that increases the authorization for the Olmsted Lock in Kentucky from $775 million to nearly $3 billion.

It’s the Kentucky Kickback.

In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark.

The dam is on the Ohio River on the Missouri-Kentucky border. McConnell says he had nothing to do with the project, and other senators – Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) – have stated they requested the provision. Isn’t that convenient for McConnell?

Now, I’m a big supporter of Federalism and I understand the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution and this dam project might just qualify for federal funding. From the US Army Corps of Engineers site.

The Locks and Dam 52 and 53 Replacement Project, known as the Olmsted Locks and Dam, is under construction between Illinois and Kentucky about 17 miles upstream from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The locks are complete and work on the dam continues. Olmsted will replace locks and dams 53 and 52 and greatly reduce tow and barge delays through the busiest stretch of river in America’s inland waterways.

Since the project is specifically related to moving commerce throughout a good portion of the country, I’d say federal funding might be acceptable per our Constitution. Now, just because I think this is an acceptable use of federal dollars, that doesn’t mean the federal government knows what they are doing. From Sept. 16 in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, with my emphasis in bold.

A Post-Dispatch review of thousands of pages of documents and more than two dozen interviews reveal a project plagued by cost overruns, delays and engineering challenges stemming largely from the corps’ stubborn insistence on an innovative construction method that met its match in the unruly Ohio River.

A project that should have been completed years ago has quadrupled in cost because of management failures for which the Corps of Engineers has yet to be held accountable.

And the price tag keeps rising.

In 1988, Congress authorized spending $775 million to replace two 1920s-era Ohio River dams 17 miles from the Mississippi River, at the busiest inland shipping hub in America.

A quarter-century later, the projected cost has ballooned to $3.1 billion.

Moreover, the Olmsted project is barely half done. The latest completion dates: 2020 for the dam and 2024 for the entire project.

That’s right, Congress authorized the spending for this project during the Reagan administration, and it’s still not done. To be honest, nobody knows when it will be done or how much it will cost. Typical of a federal boondoggle project gone wrong.

Keep those federal dollars flowing! The numbers in the stories I’ve collected match up, since today’s legislation raised the authorization from $775 million (as mentioned from 1988) to $3 billion or more.

17 replies
  1. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    He’s a piece of guvna like the rest of the RINOs & I will be sending money to the guy running against him.

    • bien-pensant
      bien-pensant says:

      Throw all of the incumbents out of their cushy seats. More than ever, we need to rid government of the career politicians who are the entitled political class.
      Replace all of those careerists with people who know up front they have a two term limit or less. No establishing a dynasty of thirty or more years of rule along with introducing family members into the “family business.”
      THROW ‘EM OUT!
      ?

    • ricbee
      ricbee says:

      Jim Ryun & Ted Cruz of the Madison Project were already trying to get rid of him-send them some dough & McConnell will soon be gone.

  2. bien-pensant
    bien-pensant says:

    I wonder how many people have retired off of this “project”? How many are connected and how many are just sucking tax dollars off of this thing? Phantom equipment rentals, no-show jobs, double and triple payments, over-billing, theft, fraud, and waste is just the norm. (Medicare?)
    It sounds like any other gub’mint undertaking. Underlying a real need is an excellent way to line a lot of pockets and keep those PAC contributions coming in.
    Plus, the project will need another bunch of billions of dollars in the near future to “finish it.”
    In other words, business as usual. And, McConnell brings home the bacon. It is the way of Washington.
    ?

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    McConnell gets his thirty pieces of silver.? There are RINOs and then there are Senate majority “leader” RINOs.
    ?
    I saw a nice quote the other day:? “the debt limit is always a crisis, but the debt never seems to be”.
    ?
    What can you add to that??? See you in January for part deux….? (wonder what goodie McConnell will get for Christmas?)

      • sammy22
        sammy22 says:

        I don’t think the country would be better off today if the government was still shut down and the US were in default.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        If the roles were reversed, I would be neither in shutdown or default.? In particular, the “default” scare tactic was particularly ridiculous, since even with the partial shutdown, we are taking in about ten times as much revenue each month that it would take to service the debt.? That is the dirty little secret you don’t hear on the MSM.? Similarly, do you think that the deleterious effects on private businesses would have occurred if ?bama wasn’t trying to “make it as difficult as possible for people” by shutting down that which did not need to be closed and for which employees will be paid in full for doing no work?? I don’t think so, and I know that no Republican president has been as spiteful as the petulant child in the “Spite House”.
        ?
        But clearly, you have a different opinion.

  4. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    In the medical world, experts have discovered something called “alarm fatigue”. ?After a few hundred alarms, clinicians become desensitized and start missing important alarms. ?I think Americans are suffering “graft fatigue”.

  5. cranky yankee
    cranky yankee says:

    Thursday we went $328 Billion in debt after 6 months of deficit reduction who was playing with thefull ?faith and credit of the country.

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