A spilled load of soybeans on the road didn’t keep U.S. Congressman Phil Hare (IL-17) from making it to the Ursa Farmers Coop at the Meyer location today to talk river issues. The Congressman affirmed his support for improving river transportation infrastructure as a barge tow moved through Lock and Dam #20 on the Mississippi River, just over his shoulder.
Specifically, the Congressman voiced his support for the Capital Development Plan. Illinois Corn Growers Association endorses that plan and has actively sought support for its recommendations from members of Congress. The Plan was derived by and is supported by a broad coalition and most notably prescribes an increase in the fuel tax to help pay for the Development Plan’s implementation.
Hare recently wrote a letter to Congressman Oberstar, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, urging Oberstar to include these recommendations in the Water Resources Development Act.
Hare said today, “When we get the money to repair these locks, we’re going to be able to put over 28,000 people to work.”
“We have, I believe, a moral obligation to fix these (locks). Because the question isn’t on some of these are they going to fail, the question is when are they going to fail. And if they fail, what happens to our producers, and what happens to the ability to ship on this river,” Hare continued.
“We’re going to go back and fund what’s called the Inland Waterways Trust Fund…and it’s a genuine investment in this country.”
Dan Cole, Illinois Corn Growers Association District Director, said, “Illinois Corn Growers Association appreciates Congressman Hare’s past support on upgrading locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Today, we’re pleased to see the Congressman voice his support of the Capital Development Plan. Authorizing funding for the plan means immediate jobs and will ensure America can remain competitive in the world marketplace.”