Friday, December 12, 2014

Help Coming for Lock and Dams

Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18), along with leading industry representatives, trade associations, labor groups and other stakeholders, today commented on recent congressional action to improve inland waterway infrastructure in the 18th Congressional District.

On Dec. 3, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 647, which provides for an increase in the fees barge operators pay to fund new lock and dam constructions and major rehabilitation projects along inland waterways. The bill passed on a broad bipartisan 404-17 vote. A growing coalition of industry and labor groups have petitioned Congress in recent years to raise the barge user fee to address the $8 billion backlog of repairs on the aging system. The new fee will increase from 20 cents per gallon of diesel fuel purchased to 29 cents. The Senate is expected to pass the bill within days, and the President has agreed to sign it.

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