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Long Overdue WRRDA Port and Maritime Jobs Bill Poised for Enactment

Washington DC – The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act:

“Our nation’s ports and waterways will get a much-needed boost under legislation being considered this week by the House and Senate to reauthorize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). With billions of dollars needed to upgrade our ports and harbors, millions still looking for work, and mega-ships poised to divert to foreign seaports because U.S. maritime facilities have failed to modernize quickly enough, this legislation could not have come at a better time.

“As part of the final agreement, the bill retains reforms designed to ensure that funds collected through the Harbor Maintenance Tax and deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, are used for their intended purpose and not diverted or left unspent. This has long been a priority for TTD unions and will strengthen our maritime and port sectors for years to come.

“We are also pleased that the bill applies important Buy America standards to significant programs authorized in this bill and will thus maximize the job creating potential of this legislation.

“This bill also gives us hope that bipartisan cooperation is still possible on the big issues that confront America’s economy and threaten our competitiveness. We commend Senators Barbara Boxer and David Vitter and Representatives Bill Shuster and Nick Rahall for their persistence and commitment on this issue. We look forward to House and Senate passage of this agreement and President Obama’s signature on a final bill.”

CONTACT: Alison Omens, aomens@outreachstrategies.com, 202-507-4843

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