Third District Congressional candidate Weston Wamp said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has again failed to get funding for the resumption of work on the Chickamauga Lock.
Mr. Wamp said, "For the last four years the Chickamauga Lock has been ignored in the federal budget despite itsvital importance to the the local and regional economy in East Tennessee. According to the Corps of Engineers, upstream of the Chickamauga Lock are 318 miles of navigable waterways used to transport materials to and from industries, TVA facilities and the Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge. On Tuesday, the President’s FY-2015 budget confirmed that the Lock would again receive zero funding, reminding voters of Chuck Fleischmann’s inability toeffectively represent the concerns of East Tennesseans."
Mr. Wamp gave this "Storyline of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s Failure On The Chickamauga Lock:"
Summer of 2013 - Nothing has happened in Congress for three years to get the Chickamauga Lock construction restarted. The President of the United States, who initiates annual funding requests for executive branch agencies like the US Army Corps of Engineers, visits Chattanooga to highlight our economic development success. Our Congressman Chuck Fleischmann refuses to attend the event and issues a poorly written, tasteless postcard mocking the President and blasting him for his policies.
Fall of 2013 - Congressman Fleischmann hails the passage of the long-awaited WRDA (Water Resources and Development Agreement) bill, stating that this will lead to work resuming on the Chickamauga Lock.
January 2014 - Congressman Fleischmann publicizes a letter written by him and signed by his Tennessee colleagues asking the Corps to restart work on the Chickamauga Lock. This ridiculous political stunt failed to inform people that Congress created theCorps, funds the Corps and ultimately instructs the Corps what to build and when tobuild it. The notion that Members of Congress would ask the Corps to do the job theywere elected to do is absurd, but typical of this do-nothing Congress.
March 4, 2014- The President’s FY-2015 budget request is released to the public without a line item funding request for the Chickamauga Lock replacement. It includes not one penny to maintain the current lock and keep it open, let alone funds to begin construction of a new lock. Chuck Fleischmann’s excessive partisanship has prevented him from making any substantive progress toward the most pressing federal need in Southeast Tennessee.
"When former Congressman Zach Wamp and former Senator Bill Frist secured federal investment to repair our existing lock and ultimately to begin the construction of a new lock, it began under the Clinton Administration. Unlike Congressman Fleischmann, they got things done through bi-partisan co-operation and so will I," said businessman Weston Wamp, who is challenging Congressman Fleischmann the Aug. 7 Republican primary.
"Today we might have a funded Chickamauga Lock if Chuck Fleischmann had chosen to atleast shake the President’s hand when he visited Chattanooga last summer," said Mr. Wamp. "Only Fleischmann knows why playing politics was more important than advocating the importance of replacing the Chickamauga Lock when he had the opportunity. I too think the President has a poor track record, but that will not stop me from making every effort to represent the needs and concerns of the Third District."
"Everywhere I go people ask, “Where is Fleischmann? And what has he done?” Yesterday we got the answer once again: nothing. The hyper-partisan behavior of Members of Congress like Fleischmann is undermining common sense and damaging our country. Congressman Fleischmann has done nothing to change Washington or help Tennessee. It is easy to blame others. But it takes guts to work across the aisle and govern. I will not blame others; instead I will see to it that our lock gets the funding it badly needs and work to change the way Washington does business."