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$9.3 Billion - just sitting there!

When I said I want to make significant investments in our infrastructure, I meant it.

So when $9.3 billion collected for harbor maintenance is just sitting in the U.S. Treasury, you bet I'm going to get my socks in a knot!

The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is generated from a fee levied on importers and domestic shippers to maintain our harbors, but the fees being collected exceed what Congress has spent on harbor maintenance. If all the fees collected were spent for their intended purpose we could meet the maintenance needs of all federally authorized ports.

That's why I recently introduced the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act. And it does exactly what it sounds like.

Our nation's ports and harbors struggle to remain competitive in the global shipping market. Many even struggle to remain open to meet the needs of the communities that depend on vibrant maritime and fishing industries. It's hurting our local economies and the federal government has yet to approve many crucial maintenance projects, further hindering progress.

We need safe, well-maintained harbors that allow our fishermen, and our ship, tug, and barge, operators to do their job and keep our economy moving. The federal government should be using the fees it collects at our ports for their intended purpose – harbor maintenance.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Trust Fund will collect an additional $24.5 billion in revenues over the next decade.

It's time Congress fully fund the operation and maintenance of our commercial harbors, including critical jetty and breakwater work.

As the Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a representative from a district that relies heavily on these ports, I intend to do my job. And that means making sure the federal government follows through on its promises to our taxpayers.


Posted on May 17, 2019.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter