Fighting to protect American jobs and ports, Congressmen Jeff Landry (R, LA-03) and Tim Bishop (D, NY-01) led a huge bipartisan coalition of 72 House Members calling for proper port dredging. The Landry coalition sent a letter today to the U.S. House Budget Committee requesting the Committee apportion all Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) proceeds for its stated legal purpose: harbor dredging.
"At a time when the national unemployment rate continues to exceed eight percent, we believe it is imperative that all the revenue generated by the HMT be fully committed towards dredging our nation's ports, an activity that will put Americans back to work and return economic prosperity to our manufacturing, agriculture and energy sectors," wrote Landry and his colleagues.
Landry, whose district has the most domestic maritime industry jobs in the nation, is hopeful the widespread support will create jobs nationwide and protect the vitality of America's commercial waterways. "I thank Ranking Member Bishop for his steadfast leadership on this issue and recognizing the way to solve problems in Washington is by building coalitions. I also thank the 70 members who joined us in signing this important letter and the members that followed our lead by sending their own letter to the Budget Committee on this important issue. Together, we can properly solve the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund boondoggle."
Congressman Tim Bishop, who co-led the letter and serves as the Ranking Member on the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, said: "Maintaining our nation's ports, harbors and beaches is an economic imperative, and funds collected from the users of waterways specifically for dredging should be used only for dredging, not to offset other spending. We must change the budgeting process to guarantee the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is devoted solely to the purpose of maintaining our infrastructure, and I thank Congressman Landry for working with me on this critical issue for our economy."