Ports US Harbor Maintenance Funding
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....