Senate and House Leaders Issue Statement on Passage of Bipartisan Coast Guard Authorization

December 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Representatives Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued the following statement on the passage of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014.

“The men and women of our nation’s Coast Guard are tasked with the important duty of enforcing U.S. law on our waterways and the high seas. The Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act gives our Coast Guard the necessary tools and support it needs to carry out its vital mission to protect Americans at sea and guard against illegal trafficking. We are pleased this essential legislation will soon be law, and appreciate the tireless efforts of our colleagues in both the Senate and House to reach an agreement worthy of our dedicated Coast Guard.”

The law will:

• Authorize the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2015;

• Support Coast Guard servicemembers and their families;

• Help replace and modernize aging Coast Guard assets in a cost effective manner;

• Provide new authorities the Coast Guard needs to prepare for its operations and for the safety of maritime transportation in the Arctic;

• Encourage the Coast Guard to work with the private sector;

• Enhance Congressional oversight;

• Improve Coast Guard acquisition activities;

• Work to reduce the Coast Guard’s excess property inventory;

• Require development of a National Maritime Strategy;

• Create opportunities for veterans;

• Reduce regulatory burdens to create jobs and encourage economic growth; and

• Reform the Federal Maritime Commission.

The legislation is named in honor of retiring Congressman and long-serving House Transportation Committee Member Howard Coble, the only current Member of Congress to have served in the Coast Guard, and a strong supporter of the Service.