1977 Scorecard Vote
(S 1529). The vote is on the Stevenson amendment to authorize construction of a new Lock and Dam 26 to accommodate heavier barge traffic, but without authorizing a user fee system for barges that would benefit. The user fee had been linked to Lock and Dam 26 by Senator Domenici who felt that this was the only way to get a user fee system to pass the Congress. Stevenson's amendment removed his bargaining chip and provided only for an 18 month Department of Transportation study of user fees. The barge companies now use federal waterways for free, even though they are built and maintained at taxpayers' expense by the Army Corps of Engineers. Thus barge companies lobby hard for further canal construction even when it can't be justified economically. Environmentalists support user fees to discourage the needless channelization of natural streams and the resulting destruction of fish and wildlife habitat. They joined the President in opposing Stevenson's amendment. Rejected 44-51; June 22, 1977. No is the correct vote.