- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Georgia’s two U.S. senators and 14 congressmen have signed a bipartisan letter to the White House budget director protesting the Obama administration’s decision to withhold funding and a final agreement for deepening the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah.

The letter Thursday to Sylvia Burwell, the Office of Management and Budget director, says Georgia lawmakers are “very disappointed” the $652 million Savannah harbor expansion wasn’t funded in the president’s proposed budget released Tuesday.

Georgia wants to start construction this year, with Gov. Nathan Deal willing to spend $231 million in state money upfront. The White House says nothing can happen until a water-projects bill containing authorization language clears Congress.

The letter says a January spending bill the president signed “contained a clear directive” to fund the harbor deepening.

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