Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr. M.D. (R-South Louisiana) released the following statement after sending President Barack Obama a letter expediting port projects in the state while addressing dredging issues across the country. Coming on the heels of the President's recent announcement of 7 nationally and regionally significant infrastructure projects being expedited to expand 5 major ports across the country, Boustany's letter seeks to expedite port projects throughout the state of Louisiana:
"Louisiana ranks seventh among the nation's fifty states for exports. Due to its many ports and harbors, it has accounted for over $14.25 billion in exports in the first quarter of this year alone. However, I am concerned with the maintenance and infrastructure issues facing our state's ports and harbors. Challenged by narrowing travel channels as a result of inadequate dredging, many vessels are seeking other avenues of commerce.
"The President recently announced 5 major ports across the nation will benefit from an expedited process to complete infrastructure projects. This letter highlights the merits of Louisiana's ports receiving the same treatment. In addition to this request, I promoted the benefits of the Realize America's Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act, H.R. 104. This legislation addresses these exact maritime issues by requiring the total amount spent from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund must be equal to the receipts collected by the Trust Fund each year.
"The Gulf Coast serves as a primary artery of commerce and trade to our nation. Many ports in South Louisiana play important roles in exporting local goods to the rest of the world. We must protect them by ensuring their proper maintenance. The RAMP Act succeeds in completing this goal."