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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GIBBS. I thank the gentleman for yielding me time to discuss this important amendment.

Congress has been neglecting our Nation's dredging needs for far too long. Ninety-five percent of the Nation's commerce goes through our Nation's ports. Despite the fact that the harbor maintenance fund, as was said, raises about $1.3 billion a year, Congress has only been appropriating about $800 million of that annually. This isn't right. I'm a firm believer that trust funds should be used for the intended purpose--to dredge the harbors.

In response, Congressman Boustany introduced H.R. 104, the Realize America's Maritime Promise, RAMP Act. This legislation, of which I was proud to be the 100th cosponsor, simply ties the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund revenue to expenditures.

While this amendment is slightly modified from H.R. 104, it would require the total budget resources for expenditures for the trust fund for harbor maintenance programs to equal the level of receipts plus interest credited to the trust fund for that fiscal year.

At a time where the President proposes to double our exports and we look to grow our Nation's economy, we cannot sit back and continue to watch our Nation's waterborne infrastructure system deteriorate.

I urge support of this amendment.

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