U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey are working together 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 will attempt to amend the budget resolution with bipartisan language that would enable Congress to increase funding to the Inland Waterways system with offsetting reductions of spending on lower priority programs elsewhere in the government.
"Fixing Southwestern Pennsylvania's locks and dams is critical to creating jobs and boosting the region's economy," Senator Casey said. "This amendment will ensure that our region's locks and dams are a priority in our budget. I've also introduced the bipartisan River Act which will provide additional resources to our region's waterways infrastructure that I will push to get passed this year."
"Notwithstanding great technological advances in transportation, river conveyance remains critical to commerce. But the infrastructure that allows us to move goods by water is crumbling and unsafe," Senator Toomey said. "Congress needs to act, cut through the red tape, and consider measures to responsibly fund locks, dams, and infrastructure for waterways in a timely fashion. We should have the flexibility to transfer funds from programs that are less urgent and work for the restoration of our locks and dams."