Mon., January 24, 2011 3:26pm (EST)

Isakson: Congress Has Money For Port
By Orlando Montoya and Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA, Ga.  —  
US Senator Johnny Isakson says, he will support federal funding for the Savannah harbor expansion project.  (photo US Senate)
US Senator Johnny Isakson says, he will support federal funding for the Savannah harbor expansion project. (photo US Senate)
US Senator Johnny Isakson says, federal money for expanding the port of Savannah isn't pork barrel spending but an investment in the future.

The Georgia Republican made his comments to the Atlanta Press Club.

A Congressional ban on earmarks -- so-called pork -- has threatened to complicate funding for the project seen by Georgia leaders as critical.

Isakson says, he'll support funding it.

"Investment is in the eyes of the beholder and you know it when you see it," Isakson says. "The Port of Savannah is an investment that is important to the United States of America."

Congressional Republicans recently have been pledging to cut spending to shore up the deficit.

Isakson says, there is money for the project, which state leaders see as critical to the economy.

"Revenues are tight and expenses are going up," Isakson says. "You've got to sit down and prioritize what you're spending your money on."

Deepening the Savannah could harbor cost a half-billion-dollars.

If the U-S Army Corp of Engineers includes it in its budget, Congress won't have to earmark it.

The Corp, though, hasn't officially endorsed harbor deepening.

A report from the agency, however, finds the project would pay for itself four-to-one.

The Corp is expected to officially endorse the project later this year.