Posted: 4:10 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Savannah harbor vote poses Election Night conundrum 

By Daniel Malloy

Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

Once Congress passes a bill authorizing the Savannah Port project at its higher cost, the dredging can finally begin.

WASHINGTON — Congress’ final agreement on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act was filed this afternoon, ahead of conference committee votes set for next week on a bill that will allow — at long last — the Savannah Port deepening to begin.

The House vote, according to GOP aides, is expected Tuesday. There is also an election on Tuesday. What’s a Port-loving member of Congress to do?

“I don’t anticipate Jack Kingston missing a vote to clear Georgia’s number one economic development initiative for which he leads and has led the fight for the past 15 years,” said Chris Crawford, spokesman for Senate-seeking Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah.

Rep. Paul Broun of Athens, also running for Senate, is waiting on the final vote schedule to make a decision, according to spokeswoman Christine Hardman.

“While we’re confident that WRDA will pass, this is an issue where Dr. Broun would like to be here to vote in support of,” Hardman said.

Last year, the House version of this bill passed 417-3, so a couple of votes are not going to make the difference. But it is a huge priority for the state, and one of few issues on which the entire 16-member delegation has been in lockstep.

House votes are typically in the afternoon unless all the members are getting out of town for the weekend. Polls close in Georgia at 7 p.m., at which point the booze will be flowing at Atlanta-area hotels where the Senate candidates are throwing victory parties — of which only two will actually be victorious.

The Georgians are not the only ones looking for a clear schedule on Tuesday. Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, the chairman of the House transportation committee who toiled over this bill for more than a year, has a Republican primary vote that day, too. He would presumably have more sway in trying to affect the timing of the vote, set by House GOP leadership.

7 comments
DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

I am not even sure Georgia should be relying on fed funds in the first place to fund this project, when total financing can be found within the state. This dredging project could have been accomplished long ago if the business community, benefiting from this project, had taken their responsibility to pay for this work in the first place.


ex animo

davidfarrar

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

Joe Lee cast his vote for all these tens of thousands of convicts we are currently warehousing be given a shovel toward getting the job done. Offer the convicts three for one on their sentence. And I'll be offering eight to five the job gets done before a Federal contract gets let.

honested
honested

It is a shame that this won't be the LAST vote most of these bozos make, just the last one before their replacement is official.

JohnBoy10
JohnBoy10

Funny how the Radical Right Wing continuously disparages the Federal Government...yea, till it comes to money flowing into their hands. Well, I guess "all politics are local", eh?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Joeleejohnson Great idea. Let convicts with shovels dredge a 40 foot deep harbor in the Atlantic Ocean. I'll bet you attended the Liberty University School of Engineering, after graduating with honors from your home schooling. Or, did you just get your diploma online, and skipped all that schooling from left wing universities.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@Jefferson1776 You have no concept of what this project will have for the state's economy, do you? Georgia is in competition with all ports on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and at Hartsfield Airport. This project is all muscle, not fat!