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Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NEAL. Mr. Chairman, everybody has heard of Gloucester and Boston, and certainly connected it to the Mayflower. The most famous ports in America perhaps are located in Massachusetts, so I want to be supportive of Mr. Boustany's amendment today.

Today, Massachusetts seaports continue to play an important role. The Port of Boston's overall activity supports 34,000 jobs. It contributes more than $2 billion to the local, regional, and national economies. America's ports provide a vital gateway to international trade by facilitating the transport of cargo around the world; yet many ports around the country, including those in Massachusetts, are in need of maintenance.

In fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the dimensions at the Nation's busiest 59 ports are available less than 35 percent of the time. Even though users of our Nation's waterways are paying significant amounts of money into the trust fund to maintain our ports, these dollars are not being spent on the ports, and the trust fund has a surplus of $6.4 billion.

Mr. Boustany's amendment addresses this situation. It makes a good deal of sense. We have held a hearing at the Ways and Means Select Revenue Subcommittee, and there was bipartisan support for his legislation.

I urge support for the Boustany amendment.


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