Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Port funding is guaranteed to draw interest in Georgetown. Lindsey Graham knows that well, and that was a major part of his message as he brought his reelection campaign for the U.S. Senate to the Rice Paddy Restaurant on Saturday.
After meeting and greeting supporters and local officials, Graham and a group of about 20 other people took a half-hour tour of the Harbor at Georgetown.
Before the tour, he told the Georgetown Times that the final federal Water Resources bill is supported by members of both House of Congress and in both major political parties.
Rep. “Tom Rice deserves a lot of credit” for the bill, Graham said.
The bill is in a a conference committee. Graham said it will take 10 percent of the harbor maintenance fund and make it available to smaller ports, such as Georgetown.
“We had huge votes in the Senate. The only way to help Georgetown is to help other ports,” Graham said.
“I’m very confident the water bill will come out. It’s one area where we seem to be able to work together,” the senior Republican senator said.
Graham and others are working to separate inland water funding from coastal funding. The Mississippi River is clogged, he said.
“Our infrastructure is failing,” Graham continued. Not only do waterways need more funding, but the Interstate Highway system got its start about 60 years ago, when Dwight Eisenhower was President.
“There’s two trillion dollars parked overseas” by American companies. Graham would like to see a one-time deal where the tax rate on that money would be reduced to perhaps 10 percent.
“If we repatriate that money, it would allow us to fix roads and harbors and infrastructure.”
The visit to Georgetown was part of Graham’s campaign kick-off.
He faces five Republicans in a primary, and there are several Democratic challengers as well.
He plans to focus his campaign on his conservative record and being able to get things done.