The Build Back Better Act – the broad reconciliation legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives – was effectively stopped in its tracks in the Senate this week when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he would not support it. AAPA has advocated for the inclusion of ports in this legislation, with overall success, having secured $3.5 billion for a new port electrification program and $600 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The path forward for this legislation is currently in flux, and a narrower version of the bill may prove the only way to get Senator Manchin back to the negotiating table. AAPA continues to monitor developments and is prepared to advocate for port electrification and PIDP funding in any legislative vehicle emerging for the Democrats’ agenda in 2022.
AAPA is thankful the year 2021 was overwhelmingly successful, with the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (formerly known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA), which contains over $5 billion exclusively for ports. In the past two years, AAPA has watched ports around the United States step up to challenges of all kinds. By the same token, AAPA is working closely with MARAD and the White House to ensure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s funds are distributed efficiently and properly for ports to enhance their robust efforts already underway.