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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Advances Congressman John Garamendi’s Coast Guard Blue Technology Bill

June 27, 2018
Press Release
Legislation would create a “Coast Guard Blue Technology Center of Expertise” to facilitate adoption of new technologies that will improve execution of the Coast Guard’s missions

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, hailed the passage of his bill, the Coast Guard Blue Technology Center of Expertise Act, through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. H.R. 6206 would require the Coast Guard to create a “Blue Technology Center of Expertise” to promote awareness and adoption of technologies, such as autonomous drones and ocean observation platforms, that could help the Coast Guard perform its missions with more efficiency and effectiveness. Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is an original cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation.

“Our Coast Guard is a vital tool of law enforcement, public safety, and national defense. It provides search and rescue, prevents deadly narcotics from reaching our shores, protects our environment, and aids navigation for both recreational and commercial purposes. Unfortunately, it is chronically underfunded, and relies on limited, sometimes outdated equipment and resources,” said Garamendi. “This legislation will facilitate partnerships with both academia and the private sector to develop and adopt blue water technologies. The Coast Guard needs to take advantage of new technologies to perform the missions that the American public relies on every day, and this bill will help make that a reality.”

H.R. 6206 passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by a unanimous vote. In the same meeting, the Committee also passed a bill authored by Duncan Hunter and coauthored by Garamendi: H.R.6175, the Maritime Safety Act of 2018. This bipartisan legislation was developed after the tragic sinking of the SS El Faro, a 790-foot U.S. flagged cargo ship on October 1, 2015, which killed all 33 crew members. It implements safety and administrative recommendations that address the causes of the sinking and prevent future accidents at sea.

A vote in the full House of Representatives has not yet been scheduled for either bill, but is anticipated.