AAPA Applauds Senate Appropriations on FY'06 Energy & Water Funding Bill Mark-Up
Record $5.29 Billion Approved For Army Corps Civil Works Budget
(June 16, 2005) — After approval of a nearly $31.25 billion funding
bill today that includes $5.29 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers’ Civil Works program, American Association of Port
Authorities President/CEO Kurt Nagle praised the Senate
Appropriations Committee and its chairman, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS),
noting that "the stage is set for the Corps to get a budget that
will enable it to better meet the nation’s water resources needs."
applauded Energy & Water Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Pete Domenici
(R-NM) for his work in providing the leadership for developing and
moving the bill through the subcommittee mark-up process and
sponsoring the bill in full committee.
Committee’s approval today of $5.29 billion for the Corps’ FY’06
Civil Works program is a very positive signal that navigation
projects at our nation’s seaports will get more of the funds they
critically need to start, complete and/or maintain waterways that
are crucial to our nation’s economy," said Nagle. "The
Administration’s Civil Works budget recommendation this year was a
paltry $4.513 billion, which would have been 4 percent less than
last year’s appropriation. AAPA and our member ports were deeply
concerned that, had the Administration’s proposed budget been
adopted, the channels and harbors that ships depend on for moving
people and freight would be severely compromised."
Access to our
nation’s ports and waterways ensure jobs for nearly 5 million people
who work in the U.S. marine transportation industry. Waterborne
commerce, which is dependent on accessible ports, harbors and
channels, contributes more than $729 billion annually to U.S.
raised concerns when the Administration’s FY’06 budget was first
announced. At a news briefing in February, Nagle said that
under-funding the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program would
create major challenges for public ports, ocean carriers and their
customers to meet the expectations of the businesses and communities
they serve, both from a safety and an economic perspective. He noted
that each year that new dredging projects are delayed and existing
projects go unfinished, "it puts our nation at a competitive
disadvantage to export its products overseas and causes the cost of
waterborne imports to go up."
AAPA has urged
Congress to appropriate at least $5.6 billion for U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Civil Works program for FY’06. Specifically, AAPA has
requested appropriations of $735 million for deep-draft navigation
operations and maintenance (O&M), at least $500 million for
deep-draft construction, and $10 million for new project studies.
That compares with the Administration’s request of $607 million for
harbor and channel O&M, $260 million for continuing construction and
$7 million for studies.