Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Inland Waterway Construction Moves Slowly Back Toward “Regular Order”

                       The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, passed with changes by the Senate Oct. 31, will go soon to a conference committee co-chaired by California Senator Barbara Boxer and Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster. If the conference committee can reach agreement on the final details of this legislation, it will be the first time since 2007 that legislation providing for two year funding of water resources development and construction in the nation’s inland waterways has come to a vote in Congress. Because of the failure of comprehensive budget and appropriation legislation in the past three congressional sessions, projects to keep afloat the $185 billion in bulk cargoes moving on the nation’s rivers and lakes annually has ground to a virtual halt.

                    If appropriations for harbor, river and lake construction and development could once again become an agenda item of “regular order” in Congress every two years, the average of 52 service disruptions per day along the navigable waters of the United States might be brought down to more manageable proportions, not to mention the additional employment that will be generated in the construction sector of our economy.
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