AAPA Says Corps Funding Bill 'Critical to U.S. Economy'
Ports Association CEO Urges President To Sign Record Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program Appropriations
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 18,
2005) – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the
organization representing public ports throughout the Western
Hemisphere—today praised Congress for passing the $5.383 billion
Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for fiscal year
2006 and urged President Bush to sign the legislation, which
provides funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works
"This record Civil Works
appropriations bill is critical to the U.S. economy, because it pays
for the timely construction and maintenance of our nation’s
navigation system," said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. "The
navigation system supports our ports and harbors, which accommodate
more than $2 trillion worth of waterborne commerce each year. The
same system also helps ensure our national security, so we must not
allow it to deteriorate or become obsolete."
After weeks of negotiations, House
and Senate conferees this week agreed to a historic funding level
for the Corps’ Civil Works program, exceeding the Administration’s
recommendation by nearly $1 billion. The increased funding level was
the result of an additional allocation from the House Budget
Committee to cover some Hurricane Katrina-related funding relative
to the bill. Yesterday, Congress sent the bill to the White House
for the President’s signature.
"We’re obviously very pleased with
the funding level and the positive effect this will have in future
years," said the Corps’ Director of Civil Works, Maj. Gen. Don
Riley. Gen. Riley, appearing on a panel yesterday at the AAPA-Corps
Project Managers Workshop, held in Charleston, S.C., thanked AAPA
and its members for taking a lead role in successfully advocating
for a more robust Civil Works budget.
Gen. Riley went on to say that
while the conference report was not clear on the use of continuing
(multi-year) contracts and re-programming of funds from project to
project, he believed the Corps would be able to develop guidance for
field offices that would be acceptable to the Congress.