Seaports are a critical part of America’s infrastructure and AAPA is pleased with the Senate and House Appropriations Committees’ inclusion of funding in the stimulus bill for ports. Safe and secure seaports are fundamental to protecting our borders and moving goods. In particular, AAPA is encouraged that the Senate Appropriations Committee mark up of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 waives the cost-share ports must pay when they receive Port Security Grant stimulus funding, allowing ports to continue to make progress in securing our nation’s borders during these challenging economic times. The committee summary lists $398 million in additional funding to secure ports, rail and transit.
The Senate bill also includes $4.6 billion this year for the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program ($100 million more than the House bill). Additionally, both bills have port-related provisions and funding for highways, rail, navigation and environmental improvements that would create jobs now and pay dividends in the future by making the movement of goods more efficient with less congestion and air pollution.
“These vital measures are timely,” says AAPA President Kurt Nagle, “and are the tip of the iceberg in terms of meeting America’s infrastructure needs and enhancing the movement of goods flowing into and out of our country. Our nation’s seaports and connecting infrastructure need continued higher levels of federal investments that will create jobs, alleviate freight congestion, reduce pollution and deliver prosperity.