Isakson not impressed with Trump's funding offer for Savannah Harbor
Following the release of President Trump's 2018 budget proposal, Senator Johnny Isakson says the federal government needs to follow through on its commitment to help deepen the Savannah Harbor.
In a Thursday meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, Isakson told Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that the White House's offer of $50 million falls short of the $80 to $100 million that is needed annually to move the project along. Without greater funding, the Georgia Senator warned that taxpayers will take the greatest hit.
“The state of Georgia has put $266 million dollars of its own money in that port in a joint venture partnership with the United States federal government," Isakson said. "We’re in the process of deepening it now, and all of a sudden there is no additional money in there for this year’s budget. Without this additional money, it puts the project at a higher cost in future years.”
Shared costs to expand the Savannah Port was agreed upon in October of 2014 between Georgia officials and the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since then, projected costs for the project have increased and the federal government has struggled to keep its promise to help cover costs. According to Senator Isakson's office, the Harbor deepening will bring $282 million in annual net benefits to the United States and will allow for an additional 3,600 cargo containers in each transit, amounting to an increase of 78 percent.