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Stop the Privatization of America's
Locks and Dams

Dear Colleague:

The locks and dams that populate America's 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways are critical to our nation's transportation infrastructure.  They facilitate the voyage of commercial barges, foreign flagged vessels, pleasure boats, and even U.S. military crafts, ensuring that these vessels arrive safely at their destination.  

These locks and dams are operated and maintained by skilled federal employees, who, each day, exercise their discretion on behalf of the United States government.  It is their job to protect the safety, security, and private property of American citizens, as they ensure compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. 

Now, plans are underway to privatize the operation and maintenance of these infrastructures through the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76 process.  By ousting reliable and experienced federal workers in favor of private contractors, this plan would endanger private property and our national security. 

We appreciate the bipartisan action taken last year by the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee in reaction to this plan, which stripped funding for a privatization review of the operation, maintenance, and repair of the locks and dams from the FY06 bill.  This money was instead redirected towards addressing a significant maintenance backlog.  We urge the Subcommittee to once again reject funding for a privatization review in the FY07 bill. 

However, further action is needed.  Because of this we intend to introduce "Federal Locks and Lock and Dam Facilities Act of 2006" during the coming week.  This narrowly tailored bill reclassifies the jobs performed by lock and dam maintenance and operations employees as "inherently governmental" under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998, the law that requires agencies to determine which work to give to contractors, blocking these jobs from privatization. 

We urge you to become an original cosponsor of this essential legislation.  For more information or to sign on, please contact Stephanie Krenrich in Congressman Evans' office at 5-5905 or stephanie.krenrich@mail.house.gov or Maureen Schlicksup in Congressman LaHood's office at 5-6201 or maureen.schlicksup@mail.house.gov



Member of Congress

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