Rep. Farenthold Creates Texas Maritime Caucus
by Blake Farenthold on May 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM
I recently announced the creation of the Texas Maritime Caucus, which I will co-chair with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson from the 30th Congressional district of Texas.
The Caucus’ mission will be to promote Texas ports and waterway districts, illustrate the importance of the ports and waterways to areas of the state and nation beyond the Gulf of Mexico, and advocate for changes in current law to facilitate optimal import and export of cargo and the transportation of passengers.
The main goal of the caucus is twofold. We want to make ports a national conversation, and highlight how Texas ports and waterways facilitate the movement of goods throughout the entire country.
We also support a robust Water Resources Development Act that includes provisions to protect and spend down the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) for its intended purpose.
Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley lauded the creation of the Caucus.
"With maritime commerce in Texas supporting more than one million jobs and port activity generating nearly $135 billion in economic activity, promoting this effort is as important as ever," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley. "Maritime commerce is not only important to our domestic economy, but also holds great promise for keeping Texas at the forefront of the global marketplace."
“This caucus is an opportunity to examine and strengthen the economic impact that Texas has on the national economy,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Maritime transportation is an integral part of the Texas economy, and Texas is the artery through which commerce flows throughout the U.S. I believe this caucus will allow my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to foster and generate ideas on how to expand the reach of our ports and waterways. As the Congress turns its attention to authorization of the Water Resources Development Act, it is important to have a bipartisan effort to ensure our ports are part of the national conversation.”
The caucus also aims to streamline both feasibility studies and projects, ensuring that provisions should mirror the streamlining changes included in the last surface transportation reauthorization bill, MAP-21. Finally, the caucus intends to promote the dredging and maintenance of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) to its authorized depth of 12 feet.
The following members of the Texas delegation have joined the Maritime Caucus.
Rep. John Carter
Rep. Michael Conaway
Rep. John Culberson
Rep. Bill Flores
Rep. Gene Green
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa
Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee
Rep. Pete Olson
Rep. Michael McCaul
Rep. Filemon Vela
Rep. Roger Williams
Rep. Randy Weber