The American Association of Port Authorities has named Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., as joint recipients of its "Port Person of the Year" award for their work on advancing transportation legislation that assists ports.
Last year, Boxer, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Shuster, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, successfully drafted and moved through their respective chambers a bill to reauthorize and reform water resources programs, such as harbor maintenance and expansion dredging, and lock and dam repairs on inland waterways, that are important to maintain efficient freight movement.
The Water Resources and Development Act update is now in a conference committee that is trying to agree on a common bill that can be voted on and sent to President Obama to sign into law.
Boxer and Shuster are also in the midst of developing a bill to reauthorize the MAP-21 surface transportation bill, which funds highway aid to states, safety programs and Transportation Department operations.
They have both received praise for their bipartisan leadership and including members of the opposite party in deliberations.
"Both Sen. Boxer and Cong.
Shuster have displayed extraordinary leadership in bringing together lawmakers
from both sides of the aisle to address the needs of our ports nationwide,” Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement last week. “These two ardent and vocal
supporters of the port industry have clearly demonstrated through their actions
in Congress that, given the importance of these trade gateways to the economy
and national security, America’s seaports deserve a prominent place in federal
The AAPA is expected to present the awards to Boxer and Shuster at its annual spring conference in Washington if the lawmakers' schedules allow.