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Providing for Concurrence with Amendments in Senate Amendment to H.R. 3619, Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


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

I want to again thank Mr. Oberstar for his diligent work on this, and Mr. Mica. A lot has been said by both Mr. Oberstar and Mr. Mica, but a couple of points need to be reiterated, I believe.

I think the men and women of the Coast Guard are some of the most under-recognized and under-appreciated patriots that we have in our country. For far too many years a message was sent to them as we increased their mission that it was acceptable for them to be expected to do more with less. We send a very clear signal with this legislation that that is not the case.

I am very appreciative of the majority's position in rejecting the President's very misguided direction to cut the Coast Guard with personnel and funding, exactly the wrong message at the wrong time.

We can look to some other things that are in this bill that maybe aren't quite as high profile, but there is a housing provision in this bill that the Master Chief of the Coast Guard, Mr. Bowen, Master Chief Bowen, came and talked about, the horrendous conditions that we are expecting men and women of the Coast Guard to live in, and this helps to correct that.

Another issue that is not at the forefront right now but certainly was a very short time ago, and that was the piracy issue. We are taking steps to allow the captain and crew of U.S. vessels to be able to defend themselves and their cargo. This is a good step in the right direction.

Overall, this bill is very, very much past due, and I am very pleased that we are going to be able to move forward with that. I want to thank Mr. Oberstar, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Mica and all staff on both sides for so much in their doing.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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