U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey today lauded a Senate vote to transfer funding from lower priority federal programs to the inland waterways system, including Southwest Pennsylvania's system of locks and dams. The deteriorating condition of the U.S. and Pennsylvania lock and dam system is a threat to the national and regional economy and Pennsylvania's ability to compete with other states as eroding conditions impede the movement of freight.
Sens. Casey and Toomey worked together to amend the budget resolution with bipartisan language that enables Congress to increase funding to the Inland Waterways system with offsetting reductions of spending on lower priority programs elsewhere in the government.
"I'm pleased that the Senate has passed an amendment to prioritize investments in Pennsylvania's locks and dams," Senator Casey said. "Moving forward, I will continue to work to ensure that our locks and dams receive the funding needed to remain a driver of economic growth in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This year, I will push Congress to pass my bipartisan legislation, the River Act, which would further invest in our state's waterways infrastructure."
"I'm very pleased at this bipartisan vote to responsibly fund critical infrastructure for Pennsylvania's waterways," Senator Toomey said. "Sen. Casey and I worked very hard for the flexibility to transfer funds from programs that are less urgent in order to restore Pennsylvania's locks and dams. River conveyance remains critical to commerce and it is extremely important that we maintain the infrastructure that allows us to move goods by water."