Congressman John Garamendi Hails Passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, praised the passage in the House of Representatives of S. 140, the Coast Guard Reauthorization Amendment for Fiscal Year 2019. In addition to funding Coast Guard operations and maintenance at $700 million above Fiscal Year 2018 levels, the legislation accomplishes a number of key priorities that Garamendi has long fought for, including funding for oceangoing heavy icebreakers and a backup system for GPS. Currently, GPS is vulnerable to both accidental disruption and hostile sabotage, and is a single point of failure for central facets of daily civilian life, as well as military operations.
“The Coast Guard has a vital military and law enforcement mission, and we ask it to do far too much with far too few resources, and with too little public recognition,” said Garamendi. “By giving the Coast Guard a 2.6% increase to its operations and maintenance budget, this bill finally begins to treat this crucial agency with the respect it deserves. The bipartisan, bicameral approach my House and Senate colleagues took in crafting this bill to support the Coast Guard stands in sharp contrast to the efforts of the Trump Administration to cut the Coast Guard budget by $1.4 billion.”
“But this bill also accomplishes other key priorities I have been working on for many years. It includes funding for polar icebreakers to help the United States prepare for increased military and commercial travel through the Arctic, and begin to keep pace with the investments Russia and China are making in the region.”
“It also finally requires the creation of a terrestrial backup system for GPS. Millions of Americans rely on GPS every day for everything from driving directions to ATM use, but we have no backup system if GPS fails as a result of accidents or sabotage. We have ignored this threat for far too long, and this legislation finally takes step to address this critical vulnerability.”
S. 140 passed by voice vote, and is awaiting the President’s signature.