The Senate’s vote for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act has sent the long-delayed port and waterway bill to President Obama for his likely signature.
The bill would authorize major port and inland waterway projects, accelerate harbor deepening by streamlining approvals, allow Harbor Maintenance Tax collections to be used for non-dredging purposes, and eventually require all HMT revenue to be spent for waterway projects.
The Senate gave 91-7 approval to the bill after the House had voted 412-4 for the legislation, which authorizes several port projects needed to handle larger container ships.
“This legislation benefits every single American because it will help produce a more efficient maritime infrastructure that strengthens our position as a global trade leader, which will, in turn, boost America’s economy, create good jobs, and aid in protecting our environment,” said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities. “AAPA thanks the bipartisan leadership in Congress and urges swift enactment by the president.”