Biden visits Illinois port to tout stimulus anniversary

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Vice President Biden toured the port of Granite City, Ill., on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2009 economic stimulus and push Congress to approve more port infrastructure funding.

Biden toured the facility, known as “America’s Central Port,” with Rep. William Enyart (D-Ill.), Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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Biden said he was “absolutely astonished” by recent construction of new freight rail tracks at the port that were built using $14 million in federal grants to boost intermodal shipping.

The project also included dredging equipment that is being used to deepen the port to allow larger ships to make deliveries there.

Biden has toured several U.S. ports in recent months to push Congress to finish negotiations on a new $8.2 billion bill to boost federal spending on ports and waterways.

The measure, known as the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, has been tied up in a conference committee between the House and Senate.