Washington Waves
Washington Waves

2025 Homeland Security Appropriations Act

Washington, D.C. – The House narrowly approved its version of the fiscal year 2025 Homeland Security Appropriations Act that includes $175 million for Coast Guard Waterways Commerce Cutters to help allow commerce to flow through the nation’s waterways.

Passed by nearly a party-line vote of 212 to 203, H.R. 8752 now heads to the Senate. Other key provisions included $335 million for four additional Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters, $60 million for service life extension to enable the Coast Guard to deploy another Medium Endurance Cutter to the Indo-Pacific and $530 million for the Offshore Patrol Cutter.

The measure drew strong opposition from the Biden administration, which accused the House Republican majority of wasting time on passing partisan spending bills instead of sticking with the bipartisan agreement reached in 2023. Warning of harm caused by its partisan provisions on policy areas such as reproductive healthcare, climate change and diversity and equity, the White House’s Statement of Administration Policy said President Biden would veto H.R. 8752 if it arrives on his desk.

Such sharp partisan divisions are expected to block agreement on fiscal year spending until after the November elections and perhaps until the new Congress convenes in January.

RAISE Grants

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) celebrated the Department of Transportation’s announcement awarding $48.4 million to several port projects.

“These port infrastructure projects will reap significant benefits to our nation’s supply chains and potentially transformational impacts locally,” AAPA President and CEO Cary Davis said. “Our ports extend a heartfelt thanks to Congress, the U.S. DOT and all the stakeholders involved in awarding these vital funds.”

Funded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, awards went to the following:

• Port of Bellingham in Washington state, $18 million to finalize on-dock rail connections at the port’s shipping terminal

• Puerto Rico Ports Authority, $21 million for a wharf reconstruction and resiliency project

• San Diego Unified Port District, $5 million for a Phase II planning project to redevelop a terminal

• American Samoa Government Department of Port Administration, $3 million to develop a port masterplan

• The Commonwealth Ports Authority of the Northern Mariana Islands, $1.26 million in planning grants for two berth improvement projects

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced this lineup of RAISE grants, which totaled $1.8 billion for 148 projects.

“After decades of underinvestment, the condition of America’s infrastructure is now finally getting better instead of worse,” Buttigieg said.

IWUB Meeting

The Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB) is scheduled to meet August 1 in St. Charles, Mo., with an online virtual portion, to provide independent advice to the secretary of the Army on construction and rehabilitation project investments on the commercial navigation features of the inland waterways system of the United States. Open to the public, the meeting will begin at 9 a.m. CDT at the St. Charles Convention Center, Grand Ballroom D, One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303.

The online virtual portion of the meeting will be available at www.usace1.webex.com/meet/ndc.nav. The public call-in numbers are as follows: 844-800-2712 (USA toll free) and 669-234-1177 (USA caller paid/international toll). Access Code is 1991173596, and the security code is 1234.

Registration to participate in the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the meeting. For additional information, requests for special accommodations or to submit written comments prior to the meeting, contact Paul Clouse at 202-768-3157 or Paul.D.Clouse@usace.army.mil.