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Rep. Young Votes for Coast Guard Reauthorization; Fights for Key Alaska Provisions Including STORIS Amendment

With Alaska Congressman Don Young’s support, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2838, The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 today. This legislation authorizes the Coast Guard to spend $8.49 billion for FY 2012, $8.6 billion for FY 2013, and $8.7 billion for FY 2014. In addition to securing numerous Alaskan priorities in the underlying bill, Rep. Young fought on the House Floor to include his legislation, H.R. 1220, which would convey the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS to be used as a museum in Juneau.

“The Coast Guard plays a crucial role in not only keeping Alaska’s coastlines and waterways safe, but the entire nation’s,” said Rep. Young. “This reauthorization legislation does more than just fund the Coast Guard; it also includes many reforms that will allow the Coast Guard to be more efficient in carrying out their mission and will save this country money while improving our security. I am especially proud of the provisions I included, such as the Maritime Lien Reform Act to help protect the livelihood of Alaskan fishermen, the language to help improve our response capabilities in Arctic waters, the conveyance of the STORIS, and the clearance of an impediment to operations at the dry dock in Ketchikan.  This is a good day for Alaska.”

“Out of frustration with the Administration’s inability to prioritize our icebreaking needs, this bill attempts to force the Administration’s hand by decommissioning our two heavy-duty polar icebreakers. It is important to remember that America is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to our ability to compete in the Arctic. That is why I have introduced The Polar Protection Act, a bill that would allow the Coast Guard to lease icebreakers. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure we find a solution before it is too late.”

To learn more about Rep. Young’s bill, The Polar Protection Act, click here.


Rep. Young’s provisions in H.R. 2838 beneficial to Alaska:

  • Includes Rep. Young’s bill, H.R. 1220, which would convey the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS to be used by a non-profit organization in Juneau for use as a historical memorial.
  • Requires a report from the Coast Guard on the need for an expanded presence in the Arctic region, including forward operating bases, shore infrastructure, personnel, logistics, communications, and affiliated resources requirements to support operations.
  • Includes Rep. Young’s bill, H.R. 1210, the Maritime Lien Reform Act which would prohibit the placement of maritime liens on fishing permits.
  • Includes Rep. Young’s bill, H.R. 563 which would grant a Jones Act Waiver for the Ketchikan Alaska Ship and Dry Dock. This waiver will ensure certainty to operations and expand capabilities in order to maximize economic returns to Ketchikan, the Southeast Alaska region, the state and the nation.
  • Jones Act Waiver for Ocean Veritas, which is a research vessel capable of doing work on reducing, and some day eliminating, the huge hydrographic survey backlog (ocean mapping and charting) that exists in the United States, a very large portion of which backlog exists in Alaska.
  • Requires the Coast Guard to prepare a prioritized list of projects eligible for environmental compliance and restoration funding including the Coast Guard’s Long Range Aids to Navigation (Loran-C) Station sites throughout Alaska.
  • The Coast Guard is required to prepare a report on the condition of Coast Guard servicemember housing including housing needs, assessment of the condition of the current housing inventory, and a prioritized list of housing maintenance and recapitalization projects. This is in response to numerous complaints regarding the condition of housing in Alaska due to the high winds and extreme conditions.

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