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Public Statements

Providing For Concurrence With Amendments In Senate Amendment To H.R. 3619, Coast Guard Authorization Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me the time, and would like to engage the chairman, if I may, in a colloquy.

Mr. Chairman, as you know, the Coast Guard Station in Marquette, Michigan, relocated to a new location within the city of Marquette. The new location allows the Coast Guard to streamline their operations, be closer to the dock, and therefore respond to emergencies more quickly.

The city sold the city property for the new facility to the Coast Guard for $1 in 2008. Since then, the city has funded the necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water mains, water lateral construction, rerouting of bike routes, and other improvements for the new Coast Guard facility, at a total cost of $170,000. On April 7, 2008, the City of Marquette turned over the property, with infrastructure improvements, to the Coast Guard.

The bill before us, the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 and 2011, conveys the old Coast Guard land back to the City of Marquette. However, it may result in the city paying for the conveyance of the property, despite the city's generous contribution of land and infrastructure improvements for the Coast Guard in 2008.

Mr. OBERSTAR. The gentleman has stated the case very well.

Summarizing it very simply, the City of Marquette and the Coast Guard entered into an agreement. The City of Marquette kept its part of the agreement, conveyed property to the Coast Guard for $1, and now is going to be stuck with the bill.

The problem is that the way the transfer worked out, the statutory PAYGO rules preclude inclusion of past conveyance in calculating the cost of the bill. We simply got hung up with our own legislation, our own PAYGO rules to reduce the cost of government, but now we are in the position of possibly increasing the cost of government to a local unit of government, the City of Marquette. The city's contribution to the Coast Guard cannot therefore be calculated into the cost of this bill. I look forward to the day when we will be able to work this out in a different setting.

Mr. STUPAK. I thank the chairman. I ask the Congress to recognize the generous contribution of the City of Marquette and urge the Coast Guard to perform this land transfer at no cost to the city. The city has already borne significant cost by transferring a new parcel of land to the agency and spent $170,000 for reasonable and necessary infrastructure costs.

My fellow colleague in the Michigan delegation, Senator Stabenow, and I have constantly advocated that the City of Marquette has contributed greatly to the Coast Guard, and the city should not incur additional costs.

I yield to the gentleman.

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