Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill Includes Larsen Priorities

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today praised the bipartisan and bicameral agreement to reauthorize the U.S. Coast Guard. The Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 advances several of Larsen’s priorities, including clarifying the Coast Guard’s icebreaking role, improving its ability to track ships in U.S. Arctic waters, and reauthorizing the Small Shipyards program.

“I am pleased this bill directs the Coast Guard and other federal agencies to clarify how they will move forward to build up our country’s icebreaking capacity. Our icebreaker fleet protects American commerce and our national security, and creates hundreds of jobs in Northwest Washington. As the Arctic increasingly opens up to more shipping traffic, the U.S. needs to participate in building infrastructure in the region to protect the environment and provide safe passage for our vessels. We cannot and should not cede this important region to international competitors.

“The women and men of the Coast Guard perform their many missions with dedication and bravery every day. This bill gives them the resources they need to do their jobs. By moving forward on icebreakers, investing in small shipyards in Northwest Washington and increasing our capabilities in the Arctic, this bill sets a strong foundation for the Coast Guard’s continuing work and supports the economy in the Pacific Northwest,” Larsen said.

The bill accomplishes a number of goals, including:

Larsen is the co-chair of the Congressional Arctic Working Group and has been advocating in Congress for investments in U.S. Arctic infrastructure.

The bill is now expected to come before both the House and the Senate for votes.

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