U.S. House sends president bill to support U.S. Coast Guard, maritime transportation

The House of Representatives voted unanimously November 27 to send to the president’s desk a bipartisan, bicameral bill to reauthorize, support and strengthen the U.S. Coast Guard and to reauthorize and update the authorities of the Federal Maritime Commission.

The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 140) authorizes funding for the Coast Guard through fiscal year 2019 and supports plans to recapitalize and modernize its assets to carry out its critical missions.

The measure, which was approved by the Senate November 14, includes bipartisan legislation previously approved by the House or the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, such as:

  • H.R. 2518, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, which was also included in the House-passed DHS Authorization Act and the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.
  • H.R. 2593, the Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017, which was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in May of last year.
  • H.R. 1726, the Coast Guard Improvement and Reform Act of 2017, which was approved by the House in June of last year.
  • Provisions from S. 1129, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017.

“In each of the last three Congresses, this body has acted to support the men and women of the Coast Guard in their tireless efforts to save lives, protect our maritime borders and enforce our laws at sea. As one of our armed services, the Coast Guard deserves our continued support,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “Naming this legislation for our retiring colleague, Frank LoBiondo, is an acknowledgement of his championship of the Coast Guard throughout his congressional career, including during his leadership of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee in five previous Congresses.”

“Congress must ensure that the Coast Guard has the resources and assets necessary to accomplish its missions, and this bipartisan bill attempts to meet that shared goal,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

“This legislation finally shows appreciation for the men and women of the Coast Guard by boosting operations and maintenance funding by $700 million above Fiscal Year 2018 levels,” said Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-CA). “In addition, it accomplishes key national security priorities, including funding for icebreakers and a backup system for our very vulnerable GPS infrastructure.”

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), for whom the bill is named, served as the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Chairman or Ranking Member during five previous Congresses.

Click here for more information about the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018.

Maritime Editorial