Ports Seek Alternatives to Earmarks

Ports Seek Alternatives to Earmarks

The American Association of Port Authorities is asking Republican leaders in the House and Senate to create alternative ways to fund freight transportation and infrastructure projects after their vow to ban earmarks traditionally used to channel money to projects.

AAPA President Kurt Nagle wrote that it was vital to create ways to fund channel deepening, and land surface infrastructure projects in a “non-earmark environment.”

Nagle also called for full expenditure of the Harbor Maintenance Tax for maintenance dredging, provisions for funding intermodal and freight-only projects, plus tax incentives for private investment in infrastructure.

Transportation infrastructure news from JOC:
Freight Bites Into TIGER II.

AAPA is particularly concerned about earmarking in the House, which will be under Republican control in the 112th Congress, which convenes in January. However, the association noted that Republican leaders had not yet clearly defined what an earmark is.

AAPA is particularly concerned about the fate of earmarks in the House, which voted to ban earmarks for two years as a control on spending. However, earmark supporters in the Senate last week failed to win the 67-vote majority needed to pass its own earmark resolution.

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.