Committee leaders introduce bipartisan Coast Guard reauthorization legislation

Leaders of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee introduced bipartisan legislation May 19.

As one of the nation’s five armed services, the Coast Guard carries out critical missions to save lives, safeguard our shores, protect living marine resources and help ensure a 21st century maritime transportation system for America.

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2518) authorizes the Coast Guard for two years to support the service’s missions. The legislation helps to replace and modernize the Coast Guard’s aging assets in a cost-effective and efficient manner, enhances oversight, reduces inefficiencies to save taxpayer dollars and promotes the use of modern 21st Century technologies.

“The Coast Guard is a military service with a unique mission responsibility to protect America’s shores and waterways,” said Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). “It’s a service that has always done more with less, but if we truly expect the Coast Guard to remain at the leading edge of drug interdiction and American security, the Coast Guard will need to be treated more like its counterparts and receive the funding and resources it needs—as well as the authority to build and acquire assets more quickly and for less cost. This is a bill that will help make the Coast Guard even more effective and efficient, and I’m confident that it will receive strong bipartisan support.”

“In addition to robust funding for the Coast Guard, this year’s bill has many other significant provisions for national security, American manufacturing and public safety,” said Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee John Garamendi (D-CA). “This bill will advance the development of eLORAN, a crucially needed backup system for GPS navigation, and it will authorize the National Academy of Sciences to study the potential of autonomous vessels to improve the Coast Guard’s mission capabilities. And it also advances public safety by making kill switches a build requirement for larger recreational vessels, which will help prevent many injuries and deaths.”

“Each and every day, the men and women of the Coast Guard work tirelessly to promote commerce, save lives, and protect our maritime borders and laws,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “Congress needs to act to ensure the Coast Guard has the tools necessary to complete its many critical missions, and this legislation accomplishes that goal.”

Click here for a summary of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017.

Maritime Editorial