Blocked funding bill, supported by Kirk, would aid Illinois waterways

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted for funds late last week to enhance shipping on Illinois waterways, as well as Illinois research labs, including Argonne National Lab in Lemont and Fermi National Lab in Batavia.

However, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act was blocked by 47 U.S. senators despite advancing out of the Appropriations Committee 26-4, the third time a funding bill was filibustered this year.

“This bill to keep our waterways open for business and our research labs at the forefront of innovation was the result of bipartisan cooperation, so there is no excuse for blocking it,” Kirk said. “I will keep fighting to pass this bill so the 5,000 people who work at Argonne and Fermilab can continue their groundbreaking research and so the Great Lakes and the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers can remain central to economic activity in Illinois.”

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Kirk said he worked to ensure the bill included funding critical to the Illinois economy. Additionally, Kirk’s amendment to cut government waste by requiring federal agencies to reduce printing and reproduction costs by 34 percent was part of the legislation.

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