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Saturday, March 6th, 2021

House Committee advances legislative package to authorize FEMA, Coast Guard, improve employment among veterans

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently approved a series of bills that would provide authorizations for the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Federal Maritime Commission, among other provisions.

The first of six bills passed by the committee, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, would reauthorize the United States Coast Guard while aiming to enhance and support its mission in safeguarding the country’s shores and protecting living marine resources. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

The FEMA Reauthorization Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), reauthorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the first time in history and aims to reduce overall costs associated with disaster recovery.

The Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Woodall (R-GA), would allow all Veterans Administration medical professionals the ability to provide physical examinations on eligible veterans and issue the required medical certificates for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle if certain requirements are met.

The Disaster Support for Communities and Homeowners Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (R-NY), would require the administrator of FEMA to provide recommendations on how common areas of condominiums and housing cooperatives may be eligible for disaster assistance.

The Active Duty Voluntary Acquisition of Necessary Credentials for Employment (ADVANCE) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar (R-CA), exempts active duty military and reserve personnel with qualifying experience from certain testing requirements when obtaining a commercial vehicle driver’s license.

The final bill, the Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017, would authorize funding for the Federal Maritime Commission for fiscal years 2018 to 2019, and provide reforms to commission authorities. The bill was authored by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

Each bill will now receive consideration on the House floor.