WASHINGTON -- The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a reply this evening to Georgia's Congressional delegation, maintaining its refusal to give the go-ahead to the Port of Savannah dredging until Congress passes a water resources bill.
In a letter obtained by the AJC, OMB director Sylvia Mathews Burwell told the delegation -- in response to its united memo of disappointment Thursday -- that the Obama administration will not make "special exceptions" for any project.
The delegation had insisted that its move in a January spending bill to change the Savannah expansion to an "ongoing construction project" would be enough to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to give the final sign-off for the dredging. But Burwell officially shot down that notion, saying the long-delayed Water Resources and Development Act is the only way forward.
She did offer more praise for the project. Not as colorful as "hell or high water" but Burwell wrote:
"The Administration appreciates the importance of this project to both Georgia and the region and remains strongly committed to SHEP as reflected in its continued investments in pre-construction activities in both the 2014 Corps work plan and the FY2015 Budget. In total, the Administration has invested nearly $19 million in SHEP" since 2009.
You can read the full letter below: