USA: Congressman Votes for Funding of South Louisiana’s Ports and Harbors

Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Conference Report to H.R. 4348.

The legislation reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs and extends the authority to appropriate funds from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for federal highway and surface transportation programs:

The Conference Report includes a provision calling for increased spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) and directing the Administration to make public the impacts of its inadequate harbor maintenance funding requests. More importantly, it takes steps to reach the funding levels needed to restore America’s navigation channels.

Although this language is short of what enacting H.R. 104 (the RAMP Act) or S.412 would have provided, it does break new ground in providing Congressional direction to the House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees in addition to the Administration regarding HMTF funding. In fact, by including sections 1536 and 1537 of the Conference Report, this language marks the first time that Congress has enacted legislation recognizing the inadequacy of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending. It is also the first time a maritime provision like this has been included in any surface transportation authorization bill.

“I am thrilled to have been able to achieve this goal for South Louisiana and believe this action is just further proof harbor maintenance funding has become a top tier national economic issue.”


Dredging Today Staff, July 11, 2012