WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill including $50 million for small, remote ports and $135 million for deep draft ports. Senator Merkley fought to include the critical funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill after it was slashed from the President’s budget.
“Oregon’s coastal communities depend on their local ports and over the years we’ve seen our infrastructure investments wither to the point where our rural ports are on the verge of collapse,” said Merkley. “We can’t keep shortchanging our future by severely underfunding our water infrastructure. Today we took a step forward in ending this cycle by putting $50 million aside for small, remote ports. The bill that passed out of committee today will help to provide coastal jobs and keep our small ports up and running.”
Senator Merkley has consistently fought in the Senate to strengthen Oregon’s small ports and make sure that small ports in America receive their fair share of funding. For small coastal communities in Oregon, access to funding for dredging is crucial to the economy. Last year, Merkley secured $42.5 million in dedicated funding for small ports.
Merkley is the first Oregon Senator to sit on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee since his mentor Mark Hatfield. He has vowed to use his position on the Appropriations Committee to fight for Oregon’s priorities and middle-class families.