Today, PORTS Caucus leaders Rep. Janice Hahn (CA-44), Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02), and Rep. Corrine Brown (FL-05) introduced a resolution to express the sense of the House of Representatives that the yearly receipts and surplus of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund should be fully utilized as soon as possible. The bipartisan resolution details the critical importance of strong ports to the U.S. economy, and declares that the failure to fully spend the receipts of the Trust Fund on the nation's ports and harbors "breaks a trust with the people of the United States."
"When our ports are strong, our country is strong. Unfortunately, our failure to fully spend the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is holding back our ports, and holding back our nation," said PORTS Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Hahn. "Congress needs to commit itself to full and immediate utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, not just for the sake of healthy ports and harbors, but for the sake of American global competiveness and jobs. The tide is coming in, and I think there is a growing sense in the House that we need to fix this problem today, not six years from now."
"Strong ports mean jobs, economic growth and a more secure nation. Unfortunately, efforts to achieve stronger ports are hindered by an underutilized Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund," said PORTS Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Poe. "Back home, the Port of Houston has been shelling out its own dollars because of this under-utilized fund. This ought not to be. It's time for Congress to fix this problem and make sure that the funds within the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are fully utilized."
"Fully utilizing the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) would help ports in Florida and across America prepare for larger ships traveling through the Panama Canal," said Congresswoman Brown. "The immediate use of these funds would create thousands of well paying jobs while preparing our ports for future growth."