Sen. Hutchison Secures $29.5 Million forGulf Intracoastal Waterway Improvements
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Texas’ senior Senator, today announced the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill includes $29.5 million that she helped to secure for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). The legislation provides full year funding for various government departments, agencies, and priority programs.
“The GIWW is a critical link in our transportation and commerce networks,” said Sen. Hutchison. “This funding will improve shipping in the waterway and help expand our economy.”
The funds will be used for dewatering maintenance on the Colorado Locks of the GIWW, mooring buoys to insure navigation safety and bank erosion prevention at Port O’Connor and Pelican Cut locations on the main stem, and dredging of the Victoria, Cedar Bayou, and Harlingen Tributary Channels to prevent grounding and light-loading.
Though Sen. Hutchison is pleased that she was able to secure significant funding for many deserving projects in Texas, she voted against the final bill due to the fact that it grew by more than 8% compared to FY ’08 levels, including duplicative and unnecessary spending on 122 projects and agencies recently funded by the Stimulus bill.
At a time when American families are facing tough economic decisions, she believes Congress should show spending restraint.
Sen. Hutchison introduced an amendment that would have sent the Omnibus back to the Appropriations Committee to reduce the bill to the overall spending level approved by Congress in Fiscal Year 2008, with adjustments made for inflation. While the measure would not have dictated how the Omnibus funding was redistributed to meet the FY 2008 level, the amendment would have required offsets from accounts that have already been funded in the recently-passed Stimulus bill. Sen. Hutchison’s motion failed to pass by a vote of 40-55.
“My amendment would have told the American people that Congress is ready to show fiscal responsibility,” said Sen. Hutchison. “While I’m disappointed that the Senate was unwilling to make modest, common sense cuts and do away with billions of dollars of wasteful, duplicative spending, I worked hard on the Appropriations Committee to ensure as many meritorious Texas projects as possible were able to receive federal funding.”