July 14, 2011
Call to Action on Transportation Re-authorization
Transportation for America has an action page to encourage the Senate to take a different path on the 6-year transportation re-authorization:
Late last week the House released the outline of their transportation bill, which would cut total transportation funding by one-third, kill the tiny slice of dedicated funding for safer walking and biking, slash transit funding and leave the repair of our crumbling roads and bridges to chance.
That is hardly a vision for the 21st century.
July 15, 2011 7:48 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
There's another side of the coin:
Subcommittee Hearing Focuses on Bill to Ensure Maintenance of U.S. Harbors
July 8, 2011
Washington, DC – The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), held a legislative hearing today to examine H.R. 104, the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act.
The RAMP Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), requires that revenue coming into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) each year, including interest on the balance, is all invested in U.S. harbor construction and maintenance. Currently, user fees collected from shippers and deposited into the Trust Fund are not being fully utilized to maintain the nation’s harbors. Instead, some of these funds are being withheld from their intended purpose and used to offset unrelated federal spending. At the same time, harbors and channels are at their authorized depths and widths only about a third of the time. If enacted, H.R. 104 could significantly change maritime shipping in the United States and worldwide. Restoring harbors and channels to their authorized dimensions will make them safer, accommodate larger vessels, and increase growth in the import and export industries.
“Unless the issue of channel maintenance is addressed, the reliability and responsiveness of the entire intermodal system will slow economic growth and threaten national security,” Chairman Gibbs said. “Only if our ports and waterways are at their authorized depths and widths will products be able to move to their overseas destinations in an efficient and economical manner. Since only two of the nation’s 10 largest ports are at their authorized depths and widths, the President’s budget does nothing to ensure our competitiveness in world markets. It is clear that the Nation can improve its global competitiveness by spending the money that is already being collected.”
Rep. Boustany testified before the Committee, stating, “Our economy in Louisiana depends on our waterways. Dredging and maintaining coastal harbors and ports is absolutely critical to bolstering trade, creating jobs and strengthening American competitiveness. This bill creates the fully-funded, long-term dredging plan necessary for realizing our economic potential not only in Louisiana, but across the country.”
There is a lot for the US government to pay for.
July 16, 2011 11:41 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
Doesn't look like the call to action is getting much action.....