Committee Approves Slate of Legislation to Support the Coast Guard, Improve Aviation Safety and Protect Local Water Quality
Washington, DC- Today, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a full Committee markup and approved a slate of bipartisan measures by voice vote, including the Aviation Funding Stability Act, Notice to Airmen Improvement Act, Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, legislation to require a report on the effects of Climate Change on the Coast Guard, Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act, Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act, legislation to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that unmet needs after a major disaster are met, and the Local Water Protection Act.
“I am pleased the Committee approved my bills today to protect the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration in the event of a government shutdown. I applaud Ranking Member Graves and all members of the Committee for working in a bipartisan way to advance these important pieces of legislation,” said Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “The Committee has a long history of setting aside partisanship to make a real difference for the people of this country, and I look forward to working together as we tackle a major infrastructure package, and the many other priorities facing the Committee in the 116th Congress.”
The legislation passed today out of Committee includes:
H.R. 1108 – Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019
H.R. 1108 protects Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and personnel, and the U.S. aviation industry as a whole, in the event of a future lapse in the agency’s appropriations. H.R. 1108 was introduced on February 8, 2019, by Chair DeFazio and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA). This bipartisan bill has 138 cosponsors.
“Our Nation’s aviation system should not be jeopardized by politics in Washington, which is why I’m proud my bill to protect the FAA from future shutdowns cleared this hurdle today,” said DeFazio. “I will continue fighting to ensure the safety of the traveling public and livelihoods of our critical aviation workforce are never compromised.”
“The government shutdown hurt American families, the U.S. aviation and aerospace economy and jeopardized the safety of the National Airspace System. Congress must do what it can to ensure the FAA, its employees and the U.S. aviation economy are protected from another government shutdown,” said Larsen. “The Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 will help ensure lights stay on at runways across the country.”
H.R. 1775– Notice to Airmen Improvement Act of 2019
H.R. 1775 requires the FAA to establish a task force?composed of representatives from airlines, labor, and general and business aviation, as well as aviation safety and human factors experts?to review existing methods for presenting Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). Recommendations from the task force seek to improve the presentation of information in NOTAMs and ensure their accuracy and completeness. H.R. 1775 was introduced on March 14, 2019, by Reps. Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA).
“The near miss incident at SFO involving Air Canada Flight 759 in July of 2017 highlighted the need to improve the antiquated NOTAM system. Clear and effective communication of important safety information to flight crews is critical to the safety of flight crews and the flying public. I am pleased to be working with Representative Stauber to complete a long-overdue safety enhancement of our aviation system, and glad that our bill is one step closer to becoming law,” said DeSaulnier.
H.R. 367 – Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019
H.R. 367 provides continuing appropriations to the U.S. Coast Guard to compensate them for their time during which interim or full-year appropriations for the Coast Guard are not in effect. H.R. 367 was introduced on January 9, 2019, by Chair DeFazio.
“I am extremely proud that with the passage of the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, the dedicated men and women of the United States Coast Guard will no longer be forced to work without a paycheck, should there ever be another lapse in appropriations,” said DeFazio. “This legislation ensures that members of the Coast Guard will be treated like service members in every other branch of the military, and get paid on time and in full, regardless of whether or not the government is shut down.”
H.R.1322 – To require a report on the effects of Climate Change on the Coast Guard
H.R. 1322 directs the United States Coast Guard to submit a report on vulnerabilities of Coast Guard installations and requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years. H.R. 1322 was introduced on February 22, 2019, by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY).
“We know climate change is going to wreak havoc on DoD facilities per the department’s own report – you don’t have to be an expert to recognize that Coast Guard facilities along our shorelines will also be threatened,” said Maloney. “The question is not if the Coast Guard will be affected – the question is how serious the threat is and what steps we can take to protect our installations.”
H.R. 1331 – Local Water Protection Act
H.R. 1331, introduced by Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN) and Brian Mast (R-FL), reauthorizes appropriations for the nonpoint source management grants program, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nonpoint source water pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources, including runoff from farms, managed forests, and urban areas. This runoff can carry pollutants, such as fertilizers and sediment from fields, toxins from abandoned mines, and oils and heavy metals from roads, into lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
“As Minnesotans, we all have a desire to keep our waters clean and safe and our state beautiful for generations to come,” said Rep. Angie Craig. “That’s why I’m proud to work on critical legislation that increases grant funding for communities seeking to reduce water pollution through voluntary conservation programs.”
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