Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) announced that it is very pleased by the action of the House Appropriations Committee
, which overwhelmingly approved spending $365.3 million in fiscal year 2006 to complete critical Inland Waterway Trust Fund financed lock and dam projects on the Nation's inland waterways system. The Committee action further underscores and improves upon President Bush's highest ever FY 2006 budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program. In their actions, both the Administration and the Committee have demonstrated an increasing understanding of the many benefits of the Nation's inland waterways system and the goal of keeping the Nation economically strong and competitive.
"We particularly applaud the commitment of Energy & Water Development Subcommittee Chairman Hobson, Ranking Minority Member Visclosky and their Subcommittee colleagues to the efficient funding and completion of lock and dam projects from which the entire Nation will benefit," said R. Barry Palmer, WCI President. "The overriding mission of Waterways Council is to advocate for the modernization of priority lock and dam projects and to urge funding at the highest levels possible to see those projects completed," he continued. Waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities and companies which use the nation's waterways to transport essential bulk commodities such as coal, grain, petroleum and chemicals valued at more than $31 billion annually rely upon a well-maintained and modern national system of ports and waterways.