WASHINGTON, D.C.— Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV applauded final passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2012. The legislation authorizes the U.S. Coast Guard’s funding and personnel levels for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and makes needed refinements to the statutory authorities of the Coast Guard.
“After months of negotiations and on the heels of last week’s vote to fund the Pentagon, the Senate has approved funding for another vital branch of the military,” said Rockefeller. “I’m particularly proud of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Huntington operation and Operations Systems Center in Martinsburg, which supports the information technology systems for the entire Service. In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Coast Guard was instrumental in ensuring safety on the waterways and continuing efforts to recover and rebuild. The Coast Guard is responsible for search and rescue operations, protecting our ports and waterways, along with nine other missions (including drug interdiction and defense readiness) but must deploy and operate with strained resources. Courageous accomplishments of our Coast Guard men and women are chronicled in the news almost daily. They deserve our admiration and the necessary authority and funding to do their jobs.”
The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2012, H.R. 2838, will:
- Authorize funding and personnel levels for the U.S. Coast Guard at $8.6 billion in fiscal year 2013 and $8.7 billion in fiscal year 2014 and make a number of needed refinements to the statutory authorities of the Coast Guard;
- Enhance the Coast Guard’s major acquisitions authorities, extending current authority through 2015 for expedited hiring of major acquisitions experts to work on the Coast Guard’s critical fleet recapitalization; establish advance procurement authority for the purchase of new ship construction materials, parts, and components that have a long “lead time” for their manufacture or production; and enable the Coast Guard to enter into a multi-year contract for the procurement of additional National Security Cutters—the flagship of the Coast Guard’s recapitalized surface fleet;
- Ensure that the Coast Guard maintains its capability to conduct polar ice operations in support of Coast Guard statutory missions and operational needs of the United States Navy, and give the Coast Guard greater parity with its sister Armed Services by further aligning Coast Guard management and personnel authorities with statutory authorities of the Department of Defense;
- Eliminate the current requirement for maritime workers to make multiple trips to a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) enrollment center to receive the TWIC ID card;
- Reauthorize the Maritime Administration for fiscal year 2013 to aid in combating and suppressing piracy;
- Reauthorize important programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Coast Guard to identify, reduce, and remove harmful marine debris.