WCI Reacts to President's FY ’14 Budget Request
Waterways Council Release
12 April 2013
WCI has reacted to the FY 2014 budget request made by President
Obama as follows:
This budget is steady-state with the overall funding level
essentially the continuation of the post-sequester level for the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program at $4.726
billion for FY ’14.
While details are still unknown according to Assistant Secretary
of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Administration’s
per-vessel user fee proposal remains unwelcome by industry.
The proposed level of funding for the Corps’ Operations &
Maintenance (O&M) -- $2.588 billion, is encouraging, but the
funding level for its Construction account ($135 billion is very
WCI is pleased with the $75 million for drought-related activity
on the Middle Mississippi River, especially the $35 million
allocated for Phases 2 and 3 of the rock pinnacle removal.
The majority of funds appropriated for navigation projects are
going toward the Olmsted project ($163 million), with $2 million
for the Lower Mon Project and $10.4 million to complete Lockport.
In a press release issued today, Michael J. Toohey, WCI
President/CEO, said: “This budget request is not unexpected in the
age of sequester and belt-tightening. The Administration’s
per-vessel user fee proposal appears to be out of touch with the
appropriate level of investment from the industry that is being
advocated in the RIVER Act in the Senate and WAVE 4 in the House
for an increase of between 30-45% in the diesel fuel user fee the
industry pays into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The industry
and its many stakeholders in labor, manufacturing, agriculture,
conservation and towing operations continue to urge inclusion of
the Capital Development Plan-initiated user fee proposal in a WRDA
bill as it moves through Congress.”