Bucshon votes to secure critical funding for Indiana ports and waterways

Oct 23, 2013 Issues: Transportation

On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), a reform-minded, fiscally responsible bill that strengthens our nation’s water transportation network by providing transparent oversight, cutting government red tape, and allocating critical funding to support ports and waterways. No such water resources development legislation has been enacted since 2007.

“WRRDA is fiscally responsible and simply makes government work better for taxpayers,” said Bucshon. “It provides much-needed oversight of the Army Corps of Engineers, streamlines the environmental review process, and consolidates duplicative analyses of projects that have delayed important infrastructure improvements for over 15 years.  These types of delays have cost our economy billions of dollars and have put the United States a competitive disadvantage.”

WRRDA promotes common-sense reforms that expedite the permit review process to 3 years, previously at 15 years, and consolidate duplicative, wasteful analyses that have unnecessarily cost valuable resources. It also contains no earmarks, deauthorizes $12 billion of old, inactive projects, and has a baseline expenditure that is $15 billion less than the 2007 enacted WRDA bill. Finally, WRRDA will undoubtedly help Southwestern Indiana through its investment in maintenance and funding for ports, like our very own Mt. Vernon Port, that are often underfunded.

“WRRDA will provide additional funding for ports and waterways, like the Mt. Vernon Port,” said Bucshon. “The Mt. Vernon port has several businesses headquartered on its property and is vitally important for Southern Indiana’s economic competitiveness, prosperity, and growth. A well-functioning water transportation system is critical for their success now and in the future. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation.”

BACKGROUND:

The Mt. Vernon Port in Southwestern Indiana handles between 3 and 5 million tons annually, and is ranked as the 6th largest inland port in the US by ton-miles.

International trade represents one-third of the U.S. GDP and 99 percent of international trade is handled through our nation’s ports supporting 30 million jobs and providing an annual $200 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

Bucshon serves a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that unanimously passed H.R. 3080 on September 19, 2013.

H.R. 3080 passed 417 to 3.