U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., and U.S. Representative Buddy Carter, R-Ga.-01, have secured full capability funding to keep the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) on track in fiscal year 2020.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, recommending more than $130 million in federal funds for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. This is the third year in a row SHEP will receive full federal funding from the Trump administration pending Congressional passage of the annual appropriations bill.
“Today’s news is real cause for celebration. I’ve been fighting for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project for 20 years, and with this announcement, the finish line is finally in sight. I thank President Trump, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought and everyone in the administration who is working with us to ensure that this critical port receives the funding it needs to keep our economy growing,” said Isakson. “Our continuous efforts are paying off, and we all look forward to seeing this project through to completion.”
“President Trump has broken through the bureaucracy and recommended full funding for SHEP for the third year in a row,” said Perdue. “After 20 years of attempts to deepen the port five feet to accommodate the larger Post Panamax ships, the Trump administration has the project on track for completion in 2022. The Port of Savannah is the third largest and fastest growing port in the United States. SHEP has the best benefit to cost ratio of all port projects across the country at 7.3 to 1, and ensuring the project’s on-time completion is key to increasing our exports and continuing to grow our economy. There is no doubt SHEP is Georgia’s top infrastructure project and will help our country compete globally.”
“This is great news for our area, our state and the entire nation,” said Carter. “I want to thank President Trump, OMB Director Mulvaney and Acting Director Vought and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James for the highest budget request for SHEP to date. This again proves their understanding of the critical importance of this project for America and the need to keep it on time and on track. We have fought tirelessly for this federal support and we will continue this work until it becomes a reality. With a benefit to cost ratio of 7.3 to 1, there is no time to waste.”
“It is extremely gratifying to see the unwavering support of the president toward completing this critical national infrastructure project,” said Jimmy Allgood, Georgia Ports Authority board chairman. “Funding at this level, which represents full capability for the coming year, ensures that the project remains on schedule and that the United States will soon benefit from the substantial return on investment that the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project represents.”
“We are profoundly grateful for the extensive efforts of Senators Perdue and Isakson, Congressman Carter, the entire Georgia congressional delegation and Governor Brian Kemp to see this project through,” said Griff Lynch, Georgia Ports Authority executive director. “The collective effort of Georgia has made our ports global leaders in trade and job creation, not only for our state but for the nation as a whole.”
In advance of the administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget planning, letters were sent by Isakson and Perdue and by Carter and the Georgia U.S. House delegation to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney pointing to the project’s approaching final stages and requesting $130.28 million to keep the project on track in the president’s fiscal year 2020 budget.
Isakson, Perdue and Carter met with Assistant Secretary James to discuss the fiscal year 2020 budget request on Feb. 14 in Isakson’s Washington office.
Today’s funding level will allow the project to remain on track for completion once Congress passes appropriations legislation for the Army Corps of Engineers.