Senate Appropriations Committee Includes Soo Locks Funding in Legislation
Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation funding the Army Corps of Engineers for the 2020 federal budget year.
Then late on Friday afternoon, the committee publicly released the accompanying report that goes with the legislation and it included $75.3 million in funding for the construction of a new lock at the Soo Locks in the federal government’s 2020 fiscal year budget. With both chambers of Congress putting the same amount of funding for Soo Locks construction in their respective bills, there is now clear bipartisan support for the Soo Locks request President Trump made in March.
This would be the first time in decades that construction of a new lock at the Soo has received funding appropriated by Congress. Construction of a new lock was first authorized in 1986 and again in 2007 but leaders in Washington then were unable to get funding for the construction.
This follows the work that was already done by the House Appropriations Committee in May when it passed the exact same amount of funding for Soo Locks construction.
Congressman John Moolenaar is Michigan’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and has been a strong advocate for construction of the Soo Locks. Just last month he was at the Locks with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) where they received an update from Lt. General Todd Semonite, the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers. Semonite expressed his enthusiasm to see construction move forward and said the Locks are “vital to our nation’s economy.”
Congressman Moolenaar voted for this same funding in May and he made the following statement on the recent news:
“I have worked across the aisle in Congress to move this funding forward and I am glad the Senate Appropriations Committee has followed the work my House colleagues and I did in May. With the House and Senate now in agreement, there is clear bipartisan support for getting this done and we have seen historic progress in the last year and a half after President Trump pledged his support. This is a major infrastructure project that is crucial to manufacturing across the nation and I will continue working in Congress to get this funding across the finish line.”
The funding can be found on page 21 of the report, here: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/fy2020-energy-and-water-development-report-116-102