USCG & Maritime Transportation Bill Heads to Senate
The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 5769, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 413-3 on Wednesday, December 3.
The bipartisan, bicameral legislation reauthorizes funding for the United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Federal Maritime Commission.
According to Congressman John Garamendi the bill requires the development of a new National Maritime Strategy to serve as a compass and guide for the upcoming challenges.
“It reforms the Coast Guard so the service is more flexible and responsive to our nation’s economic and security needs. The bill also bolsters our strategically vital shipbuilding sector, including reauthorization of the small shipyard competitive grant program, new authority to expedite the procurement of Offshore Patrol Cutters, and enhanced enforcement of U.S. cargo preference requirements that support good paying jobs for U.S. seafarers” he said, urging the Senate to pass the bill without delay.
H.R. 5769 was the result of an agreement from Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
The bill will now go to the Senate for its immediate consideration.
The Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act includes, inter alia, provisions that reauthorize the small shipyard competitive grant program, provide new guidance to the Coast Guard as it continues to rebuild its offshore fleet of cutters, help replace and modernize aging Coast Guard assets in a cost-effective manner.