First Funding Package Passes Senate, More Money for Savannah

Earlier this week, the Senate passed the first funding bill for the 2019 fiscal year, which involved a provision that would ensure additional money for deep draft navigation projects, including the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

The Padre Island dredger during the SHEP work, Image courtesy of Great Lakes Dredge and Docks

Commenting the passage of the first package of 2019 funding bills, U.S. Senator David Perdue said: “Congress has moved one step closer to funding our government on time. This first funding package addresses many important items, including a provision I introduced to help the government prioritize deep-draft navigation projects, which will generate a great economic return.”

“East Coast ports are not deep enough to accommodate fully loaded Post Panamax ships, and this puts our country at a competitive disadvantage in the global trade market. Prioritizing these port projects will help keep us on pace with other trade competitors like China and generate a significant economic return when they are completed.

“Let’s not forget though, Congress has just nine weeks left on the Senate calendar before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. There is still much more work to be done. President Trump was clear when he said he will not sign another last-minute omnibus spending bill again. This is a good start, and I stand ready to work around the clock to get the results the American people sent us here to deliver.”

Senator Perdue’s provision included in the final bill ensures at least $100 million of the Army Corps’ unobligated construction account funding will go to deep draft navigation projects. This would give projects, like the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, a boost in its efforts to obtain full capability funding in FY19.