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Committee Approves Bills to Authorize the Coast Guard and FEMA, Improve Veteran Employment

Washington, D.C., May 24, 2017 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today approved six bills, including authorizations for the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), as well as legislation to make it easier for qualifying veterans and military personnel to obtain commercial motor vehicle licenses.

“Today, the Committee acted to approve legislation for two critical agencies charged with protecting Americans and our infrastructure,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA).  “I am also pleased that the Committee approved several measures to make it easier for qualified veterans and military personnel to get their commercial motor vehicle licenses, which will help open doors to employment for members of our armed services reentering civilian life.

Shuster added, “The Coast Guard deserves the funding necessary to carry out its essential missions to protect our shores and facilitate maritime commerce, and we must provide FEMA the authorities to facilitate their critical work to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards.”

“Today, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed bipartisan, common-sense legislation that will allow the Coast Guard and FEMA to carry out their core missions and protect the American people,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR).  “The FEMA legislation will help communities and our first responders plan and prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies.  Our Coast Guard legislation guarantees that the Coast Guard has the resources and assets necessary to protect our ports, waterways, and coastal communities, and respond to disasters or emergencies affecting our mariners, fishermen, and the general public.  In addition, we passed a bipartisan authorization of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which will provide the FMC with additional enforcement authority to help address concerns raised by recent consolidation in ocean shipping industry.  I thank my colleagues for working together, and I look forward to passing these bills out of the House.”

The Committee approved the following measures:

HR 2518, The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017: bipartisan legislation to reauthorize, strengthen, and support the United States Coast Guard in its critical missions to save lives, safeguard our shores, protect living marine resources, and help ensure a 21st century maritime transportation system for America.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

HR 2548, The FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017: bipartisan legislation to address the rising costs of disasters in the United States, reduce the toll of future losses, and reauthorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the first time in the agency’s history.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.

HR 2547: a bill to support the Nation’s veterans by expanding to all Veterans Administration medical professionals the ability to provide physical examinations on eligible veterans and issue the medical certificates required for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle if certain requirements are met. The bill was introduced by Rep. Rob Woodall (GA).

HR 1684, the Disaster Support for Communities and Homeowners Act: a bill to require the FEMA Administrator to provide recommendations on how common areas of condominiums and housing cooperatives may be eligible for disaster assistance. The bill was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY).

HR 2258, the Active Duty Voluntary Acquisition of Necessary Credentials for Employment (ADVANCE) Act: a bill to exempt active duty military and reserve personnel with qualifying experience from certain testing requirements when they try to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The bill was introduced by Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA).

HR 2593, The Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017:  HR 2593, The Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017: bipartisan legislation to authorize funding for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and provide reforms to Commission authorities. The bill was introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

More information on today’s markup, including vote and amendment information, can be found here