From Politico: PORTS Caucus Wants Economic Answers on Harbor Spending

  • by BPC Staff
  • on May 9, 2013

The co-chairs of the Congressional Ports Caucus are asking the Army Corps of Engineers how many job could be created by increasing federal port spending and how long it will take to deepen U.S. ports to their desired depths.

In a letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, Reps. Janice Hahn and Ted Poe requested specifics on how bringing Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending in line with revenues would affect the economy. Currently the fund takes in hundreds of millions more dollars than it expends each year.

“How many jobs would be created by the full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund?” the co-chairs asked Darcy. “Assuming full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund each year, how long would it take the Army Corps of Engineers to bring all ports and harbors to their authorized dimensions?”

The Senate’s water bill would gradually ramp up spending to come in line with revenues by 2020, but some port officials have suggested that additional spending might be needed for the Army Corps to deepen East and Gulf Coast ports in preparation for the Panama Canal’s major expansion.

— Burgess Everett