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Public Statements

Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, in 1733, when General Oglethorpe sailed up the Savannah River, I have been told the river was 12 feet deep. We have been playing in the mud down there ever since. Today, it is 42 feet deep, but 42 feet isn't enough for the large Panamax ships that will soon start coming through the expanded Panama Canal. If we are to stay competitive, we have to deepen the river.

There are 352,000 jobs in Georgia related to import/export and the Port of Savannah. In fact, the cost-benefit analysis of this investment is a dollar spent gives us a $5.50 return. In these tough economic times, that is why this legislation is so important.

Furthermore, it is basically a reauthorization necessitated by bureaucratic delays. The original authority to deepen the Savannah River was in 1999. It took 13 years and $41 million worth of study to finally get four Federal agencies to approve it. During that period of time, China built a port, from start to finish, which is bigger than the Port of Savannah.

Mr. Speaker, if we are to be competitive as a Nation, we have to do better than this. Today's legislation accelerates the approval process by alleviating unnecessary government delays.

This legislation is common sense; it is pro-jobs and pro-America; and I urge its passage.

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