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Public Statements

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2005 - 1

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


COAST GUARD AND MARITIME TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - September 15, 2005)

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Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to thank Chairman Young for his attention and leadership on this issue. I want to thank the ranking member, the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar), and the gentleman from California (Mr. Filner). I think this is one committee and one area where we are probably a role model for the rest of the Congress to look at in terms of the way we have come together in a bipartisan way to recognize the needs and form a consensus and conclusion.

Chairman Young outlined some of the basics of the bill, the $8.7 billion that we are authorizing. He talked a little bit about Operation Deepwater, and I want to sort of reemphasize a little of that. We are asking for $1.6 billion for the Deepwater System, which will result in the complete recapitalization of the Coast Guard. If there were ever a time and a need for it, it is now.

While we have not talked about homeland security that much in the wake of Katrina, the Coast Guard's primary mission has been that of maritime anti-terrorism and homeland security. They are not able to conduct that mission with assets that are failing on a more regular basis, and every day Coast Guardsmen must deal with the reality and the possibility of asset failures that put the safety of the personnel and the success of their missions in jeopardy.

This is an opportunity for us, in an authorization bill, to clearly state how important we think it is for the Coast Guard to have the right assets to go along with the extraordinary training and dedication they are bringing to the mission. This is a very good step forward, and I would urge all my colleagues to support this legislation.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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