The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development completed its mark up of the fiscal 2014 appropriation bill for the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which includes a record $1 billion draw from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for maintaining America’s federal navigation channels and related infrastructure.
“AAPA congratulates (Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee) Chairman Diane Feinstein and the entire subcommittee for recognizing the importance of keeping America’s federal navigation channels accessible for the crucial movement of ocean-going freight and passenger vessels,” said Susan Monteverde, AAPA’s government relations vice president. “While AAPA continues to advocate for full utilization of Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) collections, which brings in about $1.6 billion in revenue annually, this is an important step towards full use of those revenues, particularly in these constrained fiscal times.”
The $1 billion amount for navigation maintenance dredging is equal to the recommendation approved on June 18 by the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and is consistent with the fiscal 2014 amount identified in the Senate’s Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation. It is $110 million more than the Obama Administration recommended in its fiscal 2014 budget request.
“The appropriators’ action today is the first step in getting us to full use of the HMT as outlined in the Senate WRDA bill. The Senate’s bill is slated to achieve full use by 2020,” said Ms. Monteverde.
The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the fiscal 2014 Energy and Water Development Bill on Thursday, June 27.