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Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2003

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, on behalf of the leader, I ask unanimous consent that the Commerce Committee be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 2443 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The clerk will report the bill by title.

The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

A bill (H.R. 2443) to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2004, to amend various laws administered by the Coast Guard, and for other purposes.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.

Mr. MCCAIN. Mr. President, I am pleased that the Senate has favorably considered the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2003, and will pass by unanimous consent the Senate manager's amendment to H.R. 2443. We look forward to working with the House to quickly reach agreement on a final bill for passage in both houses.

Senator HOLLINGS and I have agreed to work with the House through a balanced, bipartisan conference committee. The Senate members would include five majority and four minority members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. We plan to work together in a bipartisan manner to support the provisions of the Senate bill, while working with the House conference members to reach a final bill acceptable to all conferees. We will also include one majority and one minority member of the Environment and Public Works Committee to work with us on provisions in the bill that amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, I am likewise pleased that the Senate will pass this important authorization bill for the Coast Guard. I look forward to working with Senator MCCAIN and the other members of the conference committee to reach a final consensus bill that we can adopt in both houses.

Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the McCain amendment at the desk be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read for a third time and passed, the title amendment be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table en bloc.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The amendment (No. 2954) was agreed to.

(The amendment is printed in today's RECORD under "Text of Amendments.")

The amendment (No. 2955) was agreed to, as follows:

Amend the title so as to read A Bill To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2004 and 2005 for the United States Coast Guard, and for other purposes.

The bill (H.R. 2443) was read the third time and passed.

Mr. ALEXANDER. I further ask that the Senate insist upon its amendments, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses, and that the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees at a ratio of 5-4 on the Commerce Committee and 1-1 on the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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