Ports – US Harbor Maintenance Funding

News Release
Friday, April 06, 2012

House of Congress budget debate includes discussion on problem of underfunded harbor maintenance

Some detail of the discussion follows:

Unlike the past several years, this year's budget debate included some discussion of the longstanding problem of underfunded harbor maintenance.  This recognition of the harbor maintenance issue by the House Budget Committee is a positive small step forward. 

The text of H. Con. Res. 112 does not include any specific language related to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF).  The Budget Committee report on this legislation includes the following:  "In addition, the budget acknowledges the importance of maintaining our ports and waterways to encourage commercial deep-draft navigation and economic competitiveness. In fiscal year 2012, a total of $898 million was appropriated from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund [HMTF], an increase of $109 million over the administration's request. However, there continues to be a large balance in the fund and outstanding harbor maintenance needs."  

Rep. Van Hollen offered a substitute amendment to H. Con. Res. 112 as an alternative budget resolution.  It would have provided billions of more dollars annually for function 300 (Natural Resources and Environment, which funds Army Corps civil works programs such as harbor maintenance, as well as many other agencies' programs) than the House-passed budget resolution for FYs13-22, but it did not include any provisions dedicating any of that revenue to harbor maintenance. 

While the Van Hollen amendment's deficit neutral reserve fund for transportation included harbor maintenance among the reserve fund's several uses, it would not have required the House Appropriations Committee to spend all annual HMTF revenue on harbor maintenance.  HMTF revenue is already built into the budget baseline. 

Because the reserve fund language requires deficit neutrality, any legislation making HMTF spending mandatory would have to have been offset with new revenues or reductions in other mandatory spending.  Enacting Van Hollen's reserve fund provision would not have had any direct effect on H.R.104, the RAMP Act.  Supporters of Van Hollen's amendment could legitimately argue that it would be easier for the House Appropriations Committee to fit a harbor maintenance spending increase into Van Hollen's function 300 amount, rather than the House-passed function 300 amount, but neither budget resolution alternative included requirement to do so.

It was considered helpful that both the Chairman and Ranking member of the Budget Committee recognize that there is an economic need for increased harbor maintenance spending. 

 

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

China Appeals WTO Ruling on US Solar Panel Dispute

China has appealed against a WTO dispute panel report on anti-dumping duties applied on certain Chinese products by the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.

WTO Rules Against Argentina Licensing Rules in Row with US, EU, Japan

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled against Argentina on Friday in a 2012 case brought by the United States, European Union, and Japan against

New Partnership Targets Enhanced Tracking Solutions

Globe Tracker International, a  global asset tracking, monitoring and data sharing, has announced  a strategic relationship with Total Soft Bank Ltd. (TSB), a global

Finance

Airbus May Sell Stake in Submarine Supplier

Airbus is considering a sale of its 49 percent stake in submarine supplier Atlas Elektronik as part of a reshuffle of its military business, German newspaper Die

W.Africa Crude Slow to Trade; Nigerian Glut Fading

Angolan cargoes for October loading are so far finding buyers slowly, traders said on Friday, while there were further signs that an overhang of September-loading Nigerian cargoes is being absorbed.

US Steel Producers Win Anti-dumping Case

The United States has approved anti-dumping duties against South Korea and other producers of steel pipes for the energy sector, a victory for domestic producers

Government Update

China Appeals WTO Ruling on US Solar Panel Dispute

China has appealed against a WTO dispute panel report on anti-dumping duties applied on certain Chinese products by the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.

WTO Rules Against Argentina Licensing Rules in Row with US, EU, Japan

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled against Argentina on Friday in a 2012 case brought by the United States, European Union, and Japan against

Ballast Water Management: California Update

The California State Lands Commission (CSL) has promulgated a letter to clarify its interpretation of existing ballast water requirements under the California's

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1249 sec (8 req/sec)