Senator Lindsey Graham is still fighting hard in the U.S. Senate to get the funding needed for a Port of Charleston scoping study after the Obama Administration denied it–saying there’s not enough money. Here’s what Graham proposed on the Senate floor–
We came up with language that would allow 12 different ports to have studies completed in FY 2011, if the court choose to engage in those studies, it wasn’t a requirement to do those studies and it had no sums required in terms of what the corps had to spend. It was purely discrectionary. Unfortunately, our House colleagues did not accept that language.
The study would look at deepening the Port of Charleston from 47 to 50 feet, making way for larger cargo ships to come into the port, bringing more business.
Graham says he has a problem–
In fiscal year 2011 there is no mechanism as of yet to allow a scoping study to be done for the potential deepening of the Charleston Harbor to accept super-cargo ships coming into the Panama Canal in 2014, and this harbor, along with other harbors, have to be deepened in order to accept these new ships.
Graham says the situation is a “Catch 22.”
People ask me: Why can’t you just come up with the money? Boeing, BMW, Michelin, the State of South Carolina. I would do the $40,000, but you can’t. You cannot have a private entity take over a federal responsibility.
Graham says he and other South Carolina lawmakers are making progress on getting the federal funding. He says he has been in discussion with Senate leaders and Vice President Joe Biden’s Office. He says after dealing with each, he feels optimistic about a resolution being made after the two-week recess Easter break.