Congress approves annual Coast Guard authorization bill

The following is the text of a press release issued by U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.:
(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, was pleased Thursday morning as the Senate and House swiftly agreed on final passage of H.R. 3619, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.
Once the bill is signed by President Obama, it will authorize slightly more than $10 billion in annual funding for the United States Coast Guard, and will make several major changes to the service.

“This bill, the product of four years of work, provides a long overdue authorization for the Coast Guard and significantly strengthens the service’s management of its many missions,†said Cummings. “In particular, the bill will strengthen the service’s control of its billion dollar annual acquisition program.

“It also includes provisions that will improve the service’s marine safety program and ensure it is staffed by personnel who meet qualification standards, support efforts to reduce emissions from ships, and impose new safety standards on the fishing industry. I am pleased that the Senate was able to move quickly to approve this authorization, so that it can be sent on to the President for his signature. This bill will change the way the Coast Guard does business, and I believe it will change it for the better.â€

Along with major changes to the acquisition process and the marine safety program implemented by the Coast Guard, the legislation will reorganize the service’s senior leadership, strengthen our merchant marine and strengthen the service’s homeland security missions.

By Professional Mariner Staff