U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and 1st District Congressman Tim Scott are in Charleston today to further discuss a hot topic along the coast– port deepening. Graham and Scott are both in favor of getting federal funding for a study to deepen the Charleston harbor from 47 to 50 feet. Both lawmakers say the deepening would allow larger ships, specifically from the Panama Canal, to come into the Charleston port, bringing more business and boosting the state’s economy.
The Obama Administration turned down the funding, saying there was not enough in the federal budget for this project. The study would cost about $50,000 to complete. Graham and Scott are in Charleston today to discuss the issue further and find other ways to get the funding. Congressman Scott, whose district contains the port, says he wants to do anything he can to find the funding, but without federal earmarks.
Graham says the deepening would have such a great impact on the port and state economy. He says Charleston is a sure bet when you compare to other ports. Graham says federal funding is needed because the project is too large for state funding–alone.