The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has advanced the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022.
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Subcommittee on Oceans Chair Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in introducing the measure, which reauthorizes the Coast Guard for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 and heads to the Senate floor.
“The United States Coast Guard’s mission has never been more critical to our nation’s economy, environment, and security than it is today,” Cantwell said. “This bill also makes real investments in programs aimed at retaining Coast Guard members, like expanding access to higher quality child care, requiring the Coast Guard to address the urgent needs for more affordable housing for members, and builds on the success of previous Coast Guard bills by continuing to expand programs needed to retain and enhance diversity in the Coast Guard workforce.”
Wicker said Americans depend on the Coast Guard now more than ever, noting the service branch can always be counted on to save lives and keep maritime transportation flowing safely.
“But it is time we do better for our service members,” he said. “This bill would take a major step toward addressing needs such as deteriorating buildings, outdated equipment, and a lack of adequate funding. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation quickly.”
The legislation would, among other provisions, support efforts to address illegal fishing and forced labor; bolster the Coast Guard’s Arctic presence; enhance oil spill response initiatives; reduce sexual assault and harassment at sea; expanding medical care, education, and training access; and increase affordable housing access.