Highway Bill Scheduled for Senate Floor Next Week - RAMP Language Pushed
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to introduce a highway bill on the Senate floor next week. As part of the consideration of that bill, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, sponsor of S 412, the Harbor Maintenance Act of 2011, (the Senate version of the RAMP Act), is preparing to circulate a letter to all S 412 cosponsors that will be sent to Chairman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member James Inhofe of the Environment and Public Works Committee, requesting that S 412 be included in the highway bill.
The draft letter notes that: “Keeping our ports and harbors in good repair not only supports our economy and jobs, and boosts our international competitiveness, but shipping also helps relieve highway and rail congestion. An April 2010 report by the Department of Transportation stated, “In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that the Nation’s existing road and rail infrastructure cannot adequately meet our future transportation needs. Land based infrastructure expansion opportunities are limited in many critical bottleneck areas due to geography or very high right-of-way acquisition costs.”
Urging support of S 412, the letter states: “Our nation deserves an infrastructure that can help hard-working Americans compete in foreign markets, and having a well-maintained navigational infrastructure is vital to this purpose.”