Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New authorization bill could revamp Coast Guard

New authorization bill could revamp Coast Guard: The Coast Guard could be facing a major overhaul as bipartisan reform legislation continues to work its way through Congress. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 impacts everything from funding and structure to acquisition reform and accountability at the agency.

The House passed the bipartisan legislation May 18, and the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the Coast Guard, is working on its version of Coast Guard legislation, according to the committee.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the legislation is an important step in ensuring that the Coast Guard continues to have the resources it needs.

"As the process moves forward, I look forward to working with the Senate to ensure a strong final product," Hunter said.

The bill would authorize funding for the Coast Guard for the next two years — fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 — at the current $8.7 billion in funding. The two-year period helps provide stability to the Coast Guard and allows for better long-term planning, according to bill supporters.