United States v. United State Shoe Corporation Page 10

United States v. United State Shoe Corporation general information

Media for United States v. United State Shoe Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 04, 1998 in United States v. United State Shoe Corporation

Lawrence G. Wallace:

Congress has been reluctant to expand the authorizations to NOAA, for example, or to the Coast Guard, because the more aspects of navigation are brought under this fund while litigation is pending, the more it's argued that these are general expenditures.

No, but you're talking about a user fee of harbors.

William H. Rehnquist:

Thank you, Mr. Wallace.

You'd think that would have something to do with the ships and the tonnage that's required and how deep the harbor needs to be and how big the dock has to be, and that turns on how large the ship needs to be, and this doesn't bear any relation to that.

William H. Rehnquist:

The case is submitted.

Lawrence G. Wallace:

Well, that is part of the reason that it took that many years for the Congress to craft a solution, because they started off with some of those same assumptions, but found that they couldn't work it out that way for very serious reasons.

Mr. Wallace, you've piqued my curiosity.

Why don't you read us that material you wanted to tell us about.

[Laughter]

Lawrence G. Wallace:

All right.

These are brief--

Put it in for what it's worth, Mr. Wallace.

[Laughter]

Lawrence G. Wallace:

--These are brief excerpts of what Congress thought it was doing and why, and I might interject a few comments as I go along here.

In Senator Hatfield's statement, and it's in this hearing called User Fees for Ports and Waterways that we cite at the bottom of page 4 of our brief, he starts off pointing out we have not had a major authorization in this area for 15 years.

There are many economic and political reasons for this delay, but the resolution of the user fee component is a key element in getting a bill to the floor and passed.

5 years ago I convened a bipartisan group to explore legislative proposals addressing the expectations of the administration for user fees while taking into account the economic realities of the navigation economy and the users of the Nation's waterways.

Over that period I've introduced three separate and distinct proposals, one of which he explains became the bill that Congress later, shortly thereafter enacted.

He then explains, we reserved, meaning rejected in context, user fees based on tonnage because they disproportionately would effect bulk cargo marketability when compared to their impact on containerized cargo.

What State was Senator Hatfield from?

Lawrence G. Wallace:

Oregon.

A lot of timber.

Lawrence G. Wallace:

He was talking about a bipartisan group--