WASHINGTON (KCRG-TV9) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst on Wednesday asked the head of the Army Corps of Engineers to change the calculation that directs where federal money for natural disasters should go.

Congress has approved $73 million in federal funding for flood protection in Cedar Rapids, but it has not appropriated the money.

The city ranks lower on the Corp of Engineers' list to get the money because of a benefit-to-cost ratio. It shows property values are not high enough in the city to get the money soon.

Senator Ernst asked for this to change.

"The lives and livelihoods of the people in Cedar Rapids are just as important as those of individuals who reside in those coastal areas with higher property values," Ernst said.

The commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers agreed with Ernst that a "one-size fits all metric" does not work.