President Donald Trump last Friday, September 21, signed into law the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, a three-part package called a “minibus” at a signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The legislation accounts for dredging activities in harbors and channels, important infrastructure projects and beach and coastal restoration.
The $147 billion package includes a 2.4% increase in military construction spending and an 11% funding increase for the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program. The U.S. Senate approved the measure 92-5, while the U.S. House passed it 377-20.
The total funding for the Civil Works program is $6.9985 Billion, approximately $2.2 billion above previous levels. In addition, legislative measures include significant increases in funding for construction of shoreline protection, beneficial use of dredge material, national coastal mapping and coastal inlet research.
“This is great bipartisan work by Congress and the Administration. We thank President Trump for signing the supporting infrastructure measures into law,” said William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “It all start with dredging—and America’s going to work building America,” Doyle concluded.
This is the first time in over ten years that the President has signed three spending bills into law before the beginning of the fiscal year. Indeed, the Army Corps will have its budget at the start of the fiscal year (October 1st), instead of waiting for continuing resolutions throughout a budget cycle to keep the agency funded.