Press Releases

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Receive 17th Annual WCI Leadership Service Award

February 5, 2018   Debra Calhoun

(202) 765-2153

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Washington, DC – U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will receive the 17th Annual Waterways Council, Inc. Leadership Service Award on Wednesday evening, February 14, 2018 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC.


Senator McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984 and is Kentucky’s longest-serving Senator, elected in 2014 to a record sixth term. In 2015, TIME Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.


Senator McConnell was elected unanimously as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, first in 2014 and again in 2016. He is only the second Kentuckian to ever serve as Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate.


Senator McConnell is a long-time champion of America’s inland waterways. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator McConnell secured funding in the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill for Kentucky priorities, including $225 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Olmsted Locks and Dam project and funding for other important infrastructure projects that help Kentucky’s inland waterways workers move agriculture and coal products more efficiently to market. He is also a strong supporter of Kentucky Lock.


“Waterways Council is so fortunate to have the opportunity to honor Senator McConnell, a great waterways advocate and to thank him publicly for his commitment to America’s critical waterways infrastructure, to jobs, and to competitive access,” said Michael J. Toohey, President/CEO of Waterways Council, Inc. “WCI’s Leadership Service Award has long recognized ardent American champions of our country’s critically important waterways transportation and port system. Senator McConnell stands among them this year,” he continued.


Waterways Council, Inc. is the national public policy organization advocating for a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways. The group is supported by waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities, shipping associations, conservation groups, and waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country.