Senate Appropriations OKs $5.3 billion for Corps Civil Works Program
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Thursday a $5.3 billion fiscal 2006 budget for the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program.
The funding includes $378 million to complete critical Inland Waterway Trust Fund financed lock and dam improvement projects on the country’s inland waterway system.
The Bush administration’s proposed budget for the Corps Civil Works Program in fiscal 2006 was the highest of any previous administration. The House added more than $200 million to the administration’s proposal in passing the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act a few weeks ago. The Senate Appropriations Committee had decided to further increase the Corps’ budget in its version of the legislation.
The inland waterway industry praised the administration and Congress for the action.
“We are grateful for the growing recognition in the Senate, the House and in the administration that these locks and dam projects produce tremendous return on investment to our economy that significantly benefits every American,” said R. Barry Palmer, president of the Washington-based Waterways Council, in a June 16 statement.
Waterways carriers, shippers and port operators rely on the nation’s waterway system to transport bulk materials, such as coal, grain, petroleum and chemicals valued at more than $31 billion a year.