Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement after holding a House Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing on the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Maritime Tax Issues yesterday:
“At a time when Americans are concerned about our nation’s competitiveness, the federal government seems to be content with allowing for our ports and waterways to fall in disrepair. There is a blatant abuse of the dedicated federal tax to maintain and care for our nation’s main avenues for trade.
“Years of chronic underfunding finally has caught up with our country’s ports and waterways. In order to combat this, I have introduced H.R. 104, the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act. The bill requires the total amount available for spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund each year be equal to the Trust Fund receipts. This ensures funds will be used for their intended purposes. This legislation guarantees the Calcasieu River remains an avenue providing the rest of the world with South Louisiana products such as Crowley rice and St. Landry Parish soybeans. American exports cannot afford to lose competitiveness due to Congress’s inability to responsibly allocate dedicated funding.”
Dredging Today Staff, February 2, 2012; Image: boustany