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Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank my good friend from New Jersey for the time.

I rise in strong support of this Coast Guard reauthorization bill that is being considered on the floor today. I have the unique pleasure of representing over 265 miles of pristine coastline, ranging from Miami Beach all of the way down to Key West. In fact, two of the largest Coast Guard sectors in the United States, Sector Miami, commanded by Captain Christopher Scraba, and Sector Key West commanded by Captain Pat DeQuattro, are located in my congressional district. As such, ensuring that the brave men and women of the Coast Guard have the tools they need to effectively patrol our coast is of utmost concern to me and to all of the residents in my congressional district.

This legislation before us is a fiscally responsible reauthorization of the U.S. Coast Guard and will include practical reforms which will ensure greater efficiency in the replacing of aging assets and improved utilization of all of its resources.

This is particularly important in my district as our two sectors have been working day and night to stop drugs from being smuggled into our country. These drug smugglers are becoming more sophisticated and more brazen in their efforts to bring illicit drugs to our shores. Just last month alone, the U.S. Coast Guard seized and then unloaded over 2,300 pounds of marijuana and nearly 900 pounds of cocaine in Sector Key West. Without providing upgrades to our aging assets, it will become more and more difficult to keep pace with these drug smugglers as their technology attempts to surpass ours.

That is why I rise in strong support of this Coast Guard reauthorization bill, and I thank Dr. Frank for giving me the time.

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