Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced that the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations today approved legislation that would designate $30 million specifically for the purpose of small port dredging.
As a member of the U.S. House Appropriations committee, Jaime has strongly advocated to make small port dredging a federal priority. Last week, Jaime took to the U.S. House floor to highlight the difficulties many small ports are facing in her area due to a lack of maintenance dredging—particularly the Port of Chinook and Port of Ilwaco in her district.
The funding will come from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which is directly supported by commercial port usage fees. If enacted into law, the Energy and Water bill would give small ports a better opportunity to receive federal funds for the dredging of their channels.
“I’ve worked hard to ensure that our ports and channels remain passable for our region’s job creators because the survival of our coastal communities depends on it,” said Jaime. “I was happy to help bring about this positive development for those individuals and families whose livelihoods depend on our small ports. We’re not done, though, and I will do everything possible to ensure this support for small port maintenance becomes law.”
During the bill’s committee markup today, Jaime also introduced an amendment to increase funding for the Hanford Nuclear Site clean-up to the levels specified in the President’s proposed budget. She chose to withdraw the amendment upon receiving assurances from the chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, that the committee would work with her to strengthen Hanford cleanup assistance.
“Hanford is not simply a local issue – it is an obligation of the federal government to clean up the nuclear waste that poses a danger to our entire region,” said Jaime. “I took action today to ensure we live up to this obligation at Hanford, for the sake of the people, ecosystems and wildlife that are at risk. It’s vital we move forward with efficient cleanup as quickly as possible.”