Georgia wants millions in federal dollars to deepen Savannah harbor. Georgia officials believe the project that has significance not just for the state, but for the whole nation. But other states want the money, too. Right now, however, the nation has no national strategy for determining where taxpayer dollars would be best spent.
The debate over how to raise the federal debt ceiling could have big repercussions in Georgia. Political experts say, any deal to raise the limit likely would include big cuts to federal spending. Georgia relies on federal spending for everything from road construction to energy assistance.
President Obama's budget released this morning includes about $600,000 for the engineering phase of the Savannah harbor deepening. But that's only a fraction of the millions of dollars that state officials were seeking. State officials consider it the most important economic development project.
Fresh off his appointment to the powerful US House Appropriations Committee, Georgia Republican Congressman Tom Graves says, his anti-earmark pledge applies even to harbor deepening. State officials consider the half-billion-dollar project to deepen the Port of Savannah critical for job creation. But in his first week since being named to the House panel that oversees federal spending, Graves says, he will put the nation's interest first.
U-S Congressman Jack Kingston is angling to fill a powerful post in the House G-O-P leadership. Kingston is one-of-three Republicans who want the position of Appropriations Committee Chair. It has huge influence over the federal budget. Kingston, however, has to get by two more senior House members.