Congress Passes Federal Appropriations for FY2003

Monday, February 24, 2003
Congress has passed and the President signed into law House Joint Resolution 2 (also known as the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003), which is an omnibus federal appropriations bill for FY2003. Following is a summary of maritime aspects of the measure. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been appropriated $244,800,000 for maritime and land transportation security grants. Of that amount, at least $150 million must be utilized as port security grants. $4 million is to be used for radiation detection and monitoring system evaluation and procurement. $30 million is to be used for grants, contracts, and interagency agreements for the purpose of deploying Operation Safe Commerce. An additional $110.2 million has been appropriated for research and development, with at least $10 million to be used for R&D related to port security. The U.S. Coast Guard has been appropriated $4.322 billion for operating expenses, with not less than $15.6 million to be for increasing staff at search and rescue stations and related facilities. $742 million has been appropriated for acquisition, construction, and improvements (AC&I), with $478 million to be made available, under various conditions, for the Integrated Deepwater Systems program. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has been appropriated $98.7 million for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). $92.7 million has been appropriated for operations and training, of which $13 million is to be used for capital improvements at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. $11.2 million has been appropriated for disposal of obsolete ships in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. $4.1 million has been appropriated for administrative expenses to carry out the Title XI loan guarantee program, but no new money has been appropriated for direct use in the program. The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation has been appropriated $14 million for necessary expenses, to be derived from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The U.S. Customs Service has been appropriated $2.5 billion for necessary expenses. $182 million has been appropriated for the agency's Air and Marine Programs. $435 million has been appropriated for operation and modernization of the agency's automated systems, including development of the Automated Commercial Environment. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has been appropriated $2.9 billion for necessary expenses. The agency is prohibited from expending monies on its Entry Exit System until it submits a plan to Congress. The Federal Maritime Commission has been appropriated $16.7 million for necessary expenses. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been appropriated $1.94 billion for general operations and maintenance, with some of the monies to be derived from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The National Transportation Safety Board has been appropriated $72.45 million for necessary expenses. The Commission on Ocean Policy has been appropriated $2 million for necessary expenses. Included in the general provisions for the Department of Commerce is a section directing that $50,000 from the Operations and Training account be made available to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for administrative expenses to oversee implementation of a special program allowing, under certain conditions, the vessels originally contracted under the statute providing exclusive cruise ship operating rights in the Hawaiian Islands to be documented with a coastwise endorsement without regard to whether they are built in the United States. The owner of such a cruise ship may document with a coastwise endorsement one additional foreign-built cruise ship. Any non-warranty shipyard work on these ships must be performed in U.S. shipyards. Included in the general provisions for the Department of Transportation is a section addressing funds for ferry boat service in Alaska and Hawaii. Another section requires that funds used to procure Coast Guard ships, including main diesel engines, be in compliance with the Buy American Act. Included in the general provisions for the Department of Justice is a section requiring that a charge of $3 per individual be assessed and collected for immigration inspection or pre-inspection of each commercial vessel passenger whose journey originated in the United States or certain other places, except for persons arriving by ferry or by Great Lakes vessels. The Attorney General is also directed to provide Congress with a full report on the National Security Entry Exit Registration System. Source: HK Law
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