Senate passes bipartisan bill to reform harbor maintenance funding

The following is a statement issued by the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO:

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) President Edward Wytkind issues this statement in support of Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act (S.601):

“The passage of the Water Resources and Development Act today brings much needed reforms to harbor maintenance funding. The bill puts us on a path to fully funding our harbor maintenance needs, and helps chip away at the $2.2 billion maintenance backlog in our nation’s ports and harbors that hampers international commerce and threatens American jobs.  

“The bill will steadily increase the amount of money spent from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) on actual harbor maintenance projects, and mandates that by 2020 the spending will match the revenue taken in by the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT). This will create substantial investments in a maritime industry that supports 500,000 jobs, plays a critical role in expanding U.S. exports and is the gateway to international trade and humanitarian aid.  

“We thank Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and David Vitter (R-LA) for their leadership on this bipartisan legislation, and look forward to working with key House transportation leaders to produce a bill that can be sent to the President’s desk.”

By Professional Mariner Staff