The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), will conduct a legislative hearing and subsequent markup on Friday to examine H.R. 104, the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act.
The RAMP Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), requires that revenue coming into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) each year, including interest on the balance, is all invested in U.S. harbor construction and maintenance. Currently only two of the nation’s 10 largest ports are at their authorized widths or depths.
Pictured: U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs
“We must maintain our nation’s ports in order to not only compete, but lead a global economy,” said Gibbs. “The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund has long been used to cover expenditures totally unrelated to harbor maintenance, but this bill puts a stop to that. I applaud Rep. Boustany for putting together a bipartisan piece of legislation that ensures the money that goes into the HMTF is used specifically for these critical projects and improving our nation’s infrastructure.”
If enacted, H.R. 104 could significantly change maritime shipping in the United States and worldwide. Restoring harbors and channels to their authorized dimensions will make them safer, accommodate larger vessels, and increase growth in the import and export industries. The legislation has gained wide bipartisan support in Congress and has more than 100 bipartisan cosponsors.
More information on the hearing and markup can be found here.