From: The Honorable Alan S. Lowenthal
Support HMTF in FY 18 Energy & Water Appropriations
Deadline: COB Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 29
Current signers: Abraham, Babin, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bordallo, Brown, Robert Brady, Brownley, Capuano, Cárdenas,
Carter, Castor, Clarke, Chris Collins, Conyers, Courtney, Cummings,
Curbelo, Susan Davis, DeFazio, DeLauro, DelBene, DeSaulnier, Duffy, Engel, Esty,
Farenthold, Faso, Fitzpatrick, Frankel, Fudge, Gallagher, Garamendi,
Gibbs, Al Green, Gene Green, Grothman Hastings, Heck, Huffman, Huizenga, Jackson-Lee, Jayapal, Jeffries, Bill Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hank Johnson,
Mike Johnson, Jones, Katko, Keating, Mike Kelly, Robin Kelly, Kildee, Larsen, Levin, Lieu, Lipinski,
LoBiondo, Lowenthal, Lynch, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mast, McEachin,
McNerney, Meehan, Mitchell, Nolan, Norton, Olson, Pascrell, Payne, Scott Peters, Plaskett, Pocan,
Poe, Posey, Richmond, Rokita, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Ruppersberger, Sablan, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schrader, Bobby Scott, Shea-Porter, Sires, Slaughter, Speier,
Stefanik, Swalwell, Takano, Tenney, Glenn Thompson, Mike Thompson, Tonko, Vargas, Vela,
Walberg, Walorski, Wasserman Schultz, Weber, Frederica Wilson,
Passage of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) laid out a path for annual incremental funding increases for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) leading to full use of Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025.
It is with this spirit that we write to request that the House Appropriations Committee continue its work to hit the target funding amounts set by WRRDA and allocate $1.293 billion for harbor maintenance activities in FY 2018.
It is critical that Congress send a clear, strong, and united message highlighting the importance of appropriately allocating funds for the purpose they are collected for. Please join us to urge that House Appropriators continue moving toward full use of
Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues.
Harbors and navigation channels are a vital part of our nation’s transportation infrastructure, and a reduction in their capacity can have significant impacts on local communities and economies. The U.S. needs fully maintained navigation channels for safe
and efficient freight transportation to the global marketplace. All of our districts benefit from well-maintained ports nationwide.
To sign on to this letter or for more information, please contact Trevor TenBrink with Congressman Huizenga (Trevor.TenBrink@mail.house.gov) or Ben Kane with Congressman Alan Lowenthal (Ben.Kane@mail.house.gov).
Bill Huizenga Alan Lowenthal Ted Poe Gene Green
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress
April XX, 2017
Dear Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Simpson and Ranking Members Lowey and Kaptur:
Thank you for your efforts to increase U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corp) Civil Works program harbor maintenance funding in your annual Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies (E&W) Appropriations Act. We were particularly pleased to see the
Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2016 (P.L. 114-113) allocated $1.263 billion to the USACE for harbor maintenance, meeting the target that is included in section 2101(b)(1)(B) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 (P.L. 113-121).
Full use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) is urgently needed for safe and efficient freight transportation. Congress, through WRRDA, committed to achieve full use of the HMTF through incremental increases over a ten-year period. It is with this
spirit that we write to request that the House Appropriations Committee allocate $1.293 billion for harbor maintenance activities in the House Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) E&W appropriations bill, unless the Administration requests a higher amount.
The President’s FY 17 budget estimates that HMTF revenue will be approximately $1.802 billion for FY17. The WRRDA target for FY18 is 74% of that estimate, or $1.333 billion. The Corps’ portion of that target would be $1.293 billion.
Enough Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) revenue is collected each year to meet the nation’s annual authorized harbor maintenance needs for harbors of all sizes. By following the authorized glide path, we have stopped adding to the maintenance dredging backlog.
However, much more work needs to be done to return Federal navigation channels to their full width and depth.
The Army Corps of Engineers has reported that authorized channel depths nationwide are available less than half of the time, and then only over half of the channel’s width. This drives up the cost of U.S. exports and imports, which threatens U.S. economic
growth and increases the risk of vessel groundings and associated oil spills. Many U.S. exports compete in a very price-sensitive global market where transportation inefficiencies mean losing business to other countries. Underutilization of HMT revenue threatens
the continued operation of small and medium sized harbors, and some have closed due to inadequate maintenance.
Harbors and navigation channels are a vital part of our nation’s transportation infrastructure, and a reduction in their capacity can have significant impacts on local communities and economies. WRRDA 2014 recognized both the national need to increase harbor
maintenance spending and the local and regional economic impacts of harbors of different sizes and types of commerce.
We urge you to work with the Senate to craft a final FY18 E&W Appropriations bill that meets WRRDA 2014’s FY18 harbor maintenance and spending target and allocation provisions.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.