Department of Transportation grants give millions to coastal ports

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The Department of Transportation is doling out hundreds of millions of dollars to improve coastal ports all around the country.

Officials say it is an investment in local economies. Some lawmakers say the administration needs to focus even more on infrastructure.

Across the country, 15 different coastal ports will get a cut of $280 million.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says ports in Cleveland and Toledo will benefit greatly from the money.

“Good news for Cleveland and Toledo,” said Brown. “People downstate don’t think much of this, but if you live along the lake, like my wife and I do, you realize the port is so important to economic vitality.”

In a statement, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao says the investments, “will improve regional economy, increase productivity, and create more jobs.”

Among the other grants, more than $18 million for the Port of Los Angeles, $34 million for Savannah, $20 million for Charleston and $15 million for Milwaukee.

“This is a public investment coming in and its also local jobs growing,” said Brown.

The announcement comes on the heels of the President’s budged proposal this week, which would cut discretionary spending like this next year by more than 11%.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says the president’s proposed budget cuts aren’t set in stone.

“If you compare what congress ultimately passes in the spending bill and what the president’s budget is, they’re not even in the same universe,” said Rubio.

Brown says while these grants are helpful, Americans need the administration to stay focused on expanding and improving the nation’s infrastructure.

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