President Obama released his proposed budget today, and one big missing item was any funding for construction of the deepening of the Port of Savannah. Instead, a little over a million dollars was slotted for further studies on the project.
This, despite a visit by Vice-President Biden to Savannah last year when he promised to get funding, “come hell or high water.”
Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson are not happy. They released a joint statement this afternoon, saying:
We are deeply disappointed and frustrated to see the promises to help advance the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project made by President Obama and Vice President Biden were not fulfilled in today’s budget release. It is baffling to see this administration choose to ignore a statute passed just six weeks ago that cleared all remaining obstructions to moving forward with the project. The administration has once again chosen to ignore existing law, and in this case needlessly hamstring the advancement of SHEP.
This administration has promised to deliver economic development and economic opportunity to the state of Georgia through the authorization and funding of SHEP. During a visit to the port last year, Vice President Biden promised that “We are going to get this done, come hell or high water,” and the president himself included SHEP in his 2012 “We Can’t Wait” initiative. It is now clear they would rather pay lip-service to Georgians than deliver on their promises. With clear opportunity in front of them and congressional direction to guide them, the decision to delay SHEP’s construction was solely the administration’s. This project would support hundreds of thousands of jobs each year while generating billions in revenue. The Obama administration had the opportunity to fulfill their campaign promises of economic and job growth, and chose not to.
Having wasted this opportunity and broken their promises to the state, we call on the administration to allow this project to move forward and to get out of the way of the people of Georgia. We are tired of waiting.
Congress greenlighted the project in the recent omnibus spending bill. It was included in the President’s 2012 “We Can’t Wait” initiative.
Something happened to change the President’s mind. Could it be gubernatorial or senatorial politics in the Peach state? Tell us in the comments.