WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 – All of the 14 members of the Georgia House delegation urged a House appropriations panel today to support funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.
The lawmakers wrote a letter to Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, asking him to provide funding to begin the deepening project, which is estimated to cost about $625 million.
Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said the project has bipartisan and bicameral support, has been praised by the president and vice president, and has cleared a “decade of exhaustive studies.”
“It should be fully-funded and cleared for construction immediately to protect the 350,000-plus jobs supported by our ports and the $174 million in annual net benefits from this project,” Kingston said.
Georgia lawmakers are upset that the administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget request left out funding for the project, leading Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to announce the state will spend $231 million to begin the project.
One of the nation’s largest ports, the Port of Savannah wants to move quickly to deepen the harbor to allow for the arrival of supersized cargo ships after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion.
“The Savannah Harbor is one of the nation’s fastest growing container ports, and completion of this project will boost Georgia’s economy, create jobs, and strengthen the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses,” said Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga.
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