House Passes DeFazio-Led Bipartisan Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020, legislation led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio to authorize funds for, reinforce, and support the United States Coast Guard, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The House passed similar legislation in July of 2019, but the Senate failed to act. The bill passed today has been negotiated with Senate committee leaders and now heads to the Senate to be reconciled in conference with the Senate NDAA.
“I am pleased to once again showcase the bipartisan work of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee through passage of this critical legislation,” said Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “The men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard work tirelessly to keep our coastal communities safe, maintain the security of our ports and waterways, carry out critically important drug interdictions, and respond to emergencies and disasters. This bill ensures they have the resources necessary to complete their missions safely and effectively. I am deeply grateful to be able to honor the memory of my dear friend and colleague on the Committee, Elijah Cummings, with this legislation. Elijah was a Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and this legislation builds on his legacy to improve diversity and inclusion among the ranks of the Coast Guard. This legislation is vital to our Coast Guard and maritime workers across the country—I encourage a swift passage through the Senate and look forward to the President signing it into law.”
“As one of the five armed services, the Coast Guard protects the safety and security of vessels and those who sail on them along our Nation’s extensive maritime borders,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO). “The Coast Guard Authorization Act included in the defense authorization provides the Service the resources to carry out their vital missions. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of the amendment that authorizes Coast Guard funding for the next year, and I look forward to Congress sending a bill to the President as soon as possible. I am also pleased the defense authorization measure includes provisions to assure a fair level of resources for small inland ports, assist in training young mariners, and provide emergency assistance for U.S. maritime transportation facilities.”
The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 reauthorizes the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). It includes increased authorized funding levels, demonstration program authorizations, new report requirements, and clarifications and enhancements of Coast Guard regulatory authorities that will help the Service better address the dynamic, evolving needs of the maritime transportation industry and improve execution of its eleven statutory missions. This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation includes provisions that further strengthen the Coast Guard by enhancing navigation and maritime safety, increasing funding to address a $1.8 billion backlog in shore infrastructure and deferred maintenance, authorizing new family leave and child care policies, and increasing gender and racial diversity in the Coast Guard Academy and within the ranks.