Aug 18, 2014 20:04 Our Views: A new bill for ports Our Views: A new bill for ports Advocate story Aug. 18, 2014 Comments While the newspapers are full of stories about gridlock on Capitol Hill, there is at least one bipartisan accomplishment: a new water projects bill. “It’s fully bipartisan legislation that serves as a real bright spot in an otherwise gridlocked Washington,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La. It is also a measure that funds major water projects of obvious importance to Louisiana’s economy as well as the nation, and provides for better dredging of the Mississippi River. Writing in The Washington Times, Vitter called attention to the vast importance of trade and maritime commerce, $180 billion of goods per year traveling on American waterways, to and from American ports. Vitter is exactly correct and we applaud his work on the water resources bill, as well as the important bipartisan support of our state’s congressional delegation. They understand the critical role of both inland waterways and ports because Louisiana is a center for the maritime commerce of the Mississippi River basin.There are important ports on the Calcasieu River and in New Iberia, as well as Port Fourchon, serving the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas industry. Louisiana’s stake in water bills is important. This new and bipartisan measure is well worth celebrating.