Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-South Louisiana), released the following statement after addressing a letter with Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut) and 75 bipartisan colleagues to the House conferees on the transportation reauthorization bill conference to resolve differences between S. 1813 and H.R. 4348. Specifically, this letter addresses the need for provisions included in both of the bills that involve our nation's ports and harbors:
"As the transportation bill moves to the conference committee, I stress the importance of retaining language protecting our nation's navigation channels. Specifically, language mirroring that of the Realize America's Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act not only strengthens the current language through an enforcement of guarantees, it ensures the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is utilized for its intended purpose.
"With a total of 77 bipartisan signatures, the attached letter shows the fervent support this issue garners not only in South Louisiana but across the entire country. As the economy struggles to recover, we cannot afford to threaten commerce and trade by failing to maintain our harbor infrastructure. It plays an integral role in supporting jobs, growing our economy, and competing successfully in this global economy," stated Boustany.
"The broad, bipartisan coalition that joined Congressman Boustany and me in advocating for the inclusion of our RAMP Act language is more evidence that maintaining our harbors and waterways benefits communities across the country,"said Congressman Courtney.
Courtney continued, "As we have seen in towns like Clinton and Westbrook in my district, accessible, functioning waterways have immediate economic benefits to the communities around them. Maintaining these waterways is critical to growing new markets at home and abroad for local businesses. In Connecticut today, more than $100 million in dredging is necessary, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. This funding would help meet that need and ensure that our communities get the help they need to spur job growth and continue our economic recovery."