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house Bill H.R. 1987

Funding the Coast Guard for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

Argument in favor

The Coast Guard plays an integral role in ensuring the safety of those who enjoy and work on the waters off America’s coastline, and it also provides essential military support. Fully funding Coast Guard enables it to effectively carry out its mission.

BarackObama's Opinion
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05/22/2015
“We need you to safeguard our ports against all threats, including terrorism. We need you to respond in times of disaster or distress and lead your rescue teams…These are all demanding missions. The pace of operations is intense. And these are tight fiscal times for all our services, including the Coast Guard. But we are going to keep working to give you the boats and the cutters and the aircraft that you need to complete the missions we ask of you.” [President Obama's Commencement Speech at USCGA]
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Noah's Opinion
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05/20/2015
This branch is vital to our nations security.
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Dan's Opinion
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05/24/2015
I know that if my boat is sinking, that Seahawk helicopter better not be grounded due to "budget cuts"
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Argument opposed

In recent years the Coast Guard has suffered from a lack of funding in certain areas and increasing its funding rather than just funding it at the planned level would be very justified.

Ezra's Opinion
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05/19/2015
The military as a whole does not need more money. They need better money management.
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ThomasParker's Opinion
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05/23/2015
We need to make cuts of government spending across the board, including here.
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Michael's Opinion
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05/26/2015
They need more funding than they have been getting and have been performing operations that cross over into Navy and Marine territory. If we are going to continue to burden this under appreciated government organization with inflated responsibilities, maybe we should consider increasing their funds..?
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What is House Bill H.R. 1987?

This bill would authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, providing funding for the Coast Guard to carry out its operations, modernize its equipment, and reform U.S. maritime transportation laws.

In each of the fiscal years 2016 and 2017, the Coast Guard would receive $8.7 billion — which is the full amount for what had been previously planned for those fiscal years. This would provide for military pay raises to make pay for service-members consistent with the other Armed Forces.

If passed, the Coast Guard would be required to outline manpower requirements for Congress, the same way other Armed Forces do. This budget allows for 43,000 active duty Coast Guard personnel in each of the fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Under current law the Coast Guard is not required to provide a long-term plan for its shipbuilding acquisition needs. Under this bill, the Coast Guard would be required to give Congress a plan. Funding in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 would also facilitate the construction of an icebreaker capable of tending buoys on the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard would be given 270 days to assess the condition of its Polar Class icebreaker in order to determine if it is cost effective to reactivate the cutter.

Impact

Members of the Coast Guard, Coast Guard communities, people who rely on the services of the Coast Guard, Congress, and the President.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1987

$16.60 Billion
The CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost $16.6 billion over the 2016-2025 period, or about $1.66 billion per year.

More Information

In-Depth: Since 2003 the Coast Guard has been under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, after being under the Department of Transportation for the previous 36 years. The Coast Guard maintains its military, multi-mission, and maritime operational capability.

In late 2014 the Coast Guard was forced to consider closing air-rescue stations in Charleston, South Carolina and Newport, Oregon -- and while a temporary solution was found before the end of the 113th Congress, this legislation would keep both facilities open indefinitely.

This bill was unanimously approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Other provisions of this bill include:

The process that certifies that merchant mariners (people who work on ships) are medically and physically fit would be reformed — requiring the Coast Guard to certify local physicians to make medical fitness determinations rather than having the mariner’s doctor fill out and submit forms. Other paperwork that merchant mariners must submit to work aboard vessels would have a harmonized deadline date for those credentials, including medical certificates and radar endorsements.

Changes in the personnel structure to bring the Coast Guard into greater alignment with the other Armed Services by changing the Vice Commandant’s rank from vice admiral to admiral, and the Coast Guard would also be able to reinstate the Chief of Staff position. The President would also be authorized to appoint Coast Guard vice admirals to positions in the executive branch, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff — which had been precluded because there were limits on the number of vice admirals.

A limitation on the ability of the Coast Guard to reassign certain aviation assets would be continued. Barriers that prevent the Coast Guard from recognizing communities that have supported the Service would be eliminated.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user DVIDS HUB)

AKA

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015

Official Title

To authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed May 18th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
    IntroducedApril 23rd, 2015

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    “We need you to safeguard our ports against all threats, including terrorism. We need you to respond in times of disaster or distress and lead your rescue teams…These are all demanding missions. The pace of operations is intense. And these are tight fiscal times for all our services, including the Coast Guard. But we are going to keep working to give you the boats and the cutters and the aircraft that you need to complete the missions we ask of you.” [President Obama's Commencement Speech at USCGA]
    Like (27)
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    The military as a whole does not need more money. They need better money management.
    Like (7)
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    I know that if my boat is sinking, that Seahawk helicopter better not be grounded due to "budget cuts"
    Like (4)
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    I lived in a small town where the Columbia river meets the Pacific Ocean. The coast guard has a proud history there. They save lives in extremely dangerous conditions while protecting and often policing the coastline. And unlike the other branches they get far less recognition and thanks. We could at least fund them.
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    This branch is vital to our nations security.
    Like (4)
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    We need to make cuts of government spending across the board, including here.
    Like (3)
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    Cut the bloat from the DHS and re appropriate to the Coast Guard. DHS is ineffective and inefficient and overreaching.
    Like (2)
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    transfer funds from unnecessary military and DHS operations to the Coast Guard and establish a better financial planning.
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    Especially in this time of threats from terrorist it is important to keep our guard up. The Coast Guard is vital to the protection of US waters.
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    Underfunded and under appreciated
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    The coast Guard is an integral part of the defense of the U.S. And is vital to maritime safety and security. Most people don't know or don't like the Coast Guard...until they are stranded at sea
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    Our nations waters should be secure, the Coast Guard is an important branch that should be funded.
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    They need more funding than they have been getting and have been performing operations that cross over into Navy and Marine territory. If we are going to continue to burden this under appreciated government organization with inflated responsibilities, maybe we should consider increasing their funds..?
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    Duh they need to be funded. They have an important mission
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    The Coast Guards involvement in coastal protection is one that needs to remain in place. One only needs to look at New Orleans for this example of what a well funded and trained coast guard can accomplish.
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    For too many years the Coast Guard has been the poor step-sister of the other military branches, but it's service in protecting our shores and interdicting drug smugglers is not made known.
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    Yes it is much needed for our security and help for our borders!
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    And other purposes? Stop sneaking things into bills. If it's important it deserves its own. If it's not important it shouldn't be in any bill
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    The military needs a serious downgrade, so use some of their bloated purses to fund the Coastguard, which is probably the most useful of the military branches.
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    They do a great job and like most of our military, they earn their pay.
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