The following is the text of a press release issued by American Waterways Operators:
(ARLINGTON, Va.) – On behalf of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), its 350 member companies and the thousands of maritime workers they employ, AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act, which included important legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) that simplifies the process for mariners and other transportation workers to apply for and activate their Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). The provision streamlines the current cumbersome, bureaucratic regulatory process under which workers must make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to pick up and then activate their TWIC. Under the House bill, only one trip would be required.
“We are very pleased that the House passed this important bill and that we are one step closer to seeing this measure enacted into law. House passage, especially in today’s very partisan environment, would not have happened without the leadership of the bill’s champion, Rep. Scalise,” Mr. Allegretti stated. “His commitment, as well as the hard work of House Homeland Security Committee leadership Peter King (R-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Coast Guard Maritime and Transportation Subcommittee leadership Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), helped ensure the good results we have seen today.”
“Nearly 2 million Americans currently receive Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards, and the inclusion of this provision will permanently eliminate the burdensome requirement for an approved applicant to appear multiple times at a TWIC office, when a single visit could accomplish the same purpose,” Rep. Scalise said. “For some individuals, the nearest TWIC enrollment center is hundreds of miles away, and at a time when driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and even passports are issued electronically or through the mail, it’s time to modernize the TWIC program. I’m proud to spearhead the effort to remove this unnecessary and time consuming roadblock in the TWIC application and renewal process, and will continue working to protect maritime and transportation industry workers from burdensome regulations and red tape.”
“Our members hope that the bill will quickly pass the Senate and be signed by the President,” Allegretti concluded. “Then we can begin the work that will be needed with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure effective implementation.”