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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Authorization Bill News

House Panel Postpones Homeland Security Bill Discussion

Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee have postponed work on the fiscal 2007 Homeland Security Department authorization bill, prompting heated criticism from Democrats who say the move might undermine the committee's credibility and prevent the measure from being completed this year. According to a committee aide, Republican committee leaders say the delay is temporary while they work to pass a maritime security bill. All 15 Democrats on the panel fired off a letter Thursday to Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., opposing the move. The committee did the first-ever authorization bill for Homeland Security last year, which overwhelmingly passed out of the House by a 424-4 vote.

AAPA Applauds Vote on WRDA

After a successful floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today to approve passage of a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorization bill, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President/CEO Kurt Nagle applauded committee and subcommittee leaders for championing the legislation, noting that this is a prelude to conference and final passage of one of the most critically-needed authorization bills of this session. “America’s ports depend upon a regular, biennial cycle of new project authorizations to improve federal navigation channels to accommodate calls from a modern world fleet of deep-draft ships,” remarked Nagle. Nagle said that AAPA and its U.S.

DHS Authorization Bill Introduced

Representative Cox (R-CA) introduced a bill (H.R. 4852) to authorize appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2005, and for other purposes. Source: HK Law

Bill Secures Funding for US Warship

The United States Senate voted 56-40 to pass bill H.R. 83 which funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The funding ensures the construction of a 12th LPD-17 amphibious ship at Ingalls shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship will maintain more than 3,000 jobs at Ingalls Shipbuilding, and its estimated economic impact to the region could be as much as $2 billion. Congressman Steven Palazzo said in a statement, “The omnibus passed by the House [December 12] is a huge victory for South Mississippi. It provides $1 billion for the LPD-28 amphibious assault ship, built by Ingalls Shipbuilding right here in Pascagoula. Palazzo secured authorization for the LPD-28 in the 2015 Defense Authorization bill, which was appropriated through the legislation.

Senate Passes CG Authorization Bill

The Senate passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2004. Negotiations can now commence to resolve differences between this bill and the version adopted by the House of Representatives some time ago. The major difference between the two bills regards security plans for foreign vessels subject to the ISPS Code. The House bill would, in accordance with language in the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), require such a vessel to submit its security plan to the USCG for review and approval. The Senate bill would deem such a vessel to be in compliance with the security plan provisions of the MTSA if it has a security plan that has been approved in accordance with the ISPS Code and operates in compliance with the plan.

Skelton on Defense Budget Proposal

“Members of the House Armed Services Committee are anxious to examine the details of the President’s defense budget proposal and get to work on the Fiscal Year 2010 defense authorization bill. In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever to ensure that each defense dollar is spent wisely and effectively. While many difficult budget and policy decisions are ahead of us, I believe the $533.8 billion requested for defense is a reasonable level which will allow us to support our troops and keep America safe. “I commend the administration for making service members and their families a priority in this budget. I am especially pleased that this year’s budget proposal does not impose new fees on the TRICARE health benefits our service members and their families need.

Retailers: Port Statistics Bill Would Help Avoid Repeat Slowdown

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and more than 100 other business groups called for passage of legislation that would require the Transportation Department to track port statistics, saying it could help avoid a repeat of the congestion and slowdowns that occurred along the West Coast during the labor dispute resolved earlier this year. “U.S. ports are a key component in the American transportation system and the global supply chain that thousands of businesses and millions of workers depend on,” the letter said.

Senate Panel OKs $517.7b Defense Bill

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $517.7b fiscal 2007 defense authorization bill, a 4 percent increase over the amount authorized by Congress last year. The bill, which includes a $50b bridge fund to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the first six months of fiscal 2007, totals $4.8b more than authorized by the House Armed Services Committee. The Senate panel, which met behind closed doors, boosted funding for several weapons programs, including the addition of $1.5b to the Navy's shipbuilding accounts, largely due to concerns about the "declining size of the fleet," according to a summary of the bill released by the committee.

Administration Proposes Jones Act Reform

The Clinton Administration, long an opponent of Jones Act reform, has proposed a one-year waiver to allow the use of foreign-built ships to transport U.S. food aid abroad, most notably to Russia. The plan would add up to seven dry-bulk and breakbulk ships suited to carry food aid, according to U.S. Marad estimated. "This waiver," said Rob Quartel, president of the Jones Act Reform Coalition (JARC), "would bring Jones Act reform to foreign consumers, while American businesses and consumers continue to bear the burden that may approach $17 billion annually. The waiver proposal, attached to this year's Marad authorization bill, would allow foreign-built bulk ships immediate eligibility to carry U.S. food aid, as long as the ships are registered under the U.S. flag and employ U.S. crews.

AWO Welcomes CVIDA Inclusion in Coast Guard Authorization Bill

Tom Allegretti (Photo: AWO)

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) said it welcomes the inclusion of the Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (CVIDA) and the recapitalization of the aging fleet of inland waterway tenders as part of the FY 2018 Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which was approved today by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation by voice vote. CVIDA is bipartisan legislation that streamlines what is currently a broken regulatory system in which commercial vessels moving vital maritime commerce on U.S.

Authorization Bill Benefits New Projects

The House and Senate have given final approval to a Conference Committee Report, which settled differences in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1999. This legislation allows numerous projects to advance or be initiated. For instance, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) can move into the next phase of harbor deepening in projects at the Ports of Brunswick and Savannah. “Authorization of the Brunswick project puts it on an immediate track to construction, projected to start next year pending schedule and funding issues,” said Doug J. Marchand, GPA executive director. “Deepening the Brunswick channel to 36 ft. will save carriers and shippers more than $5.6 million annually.

Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation in 2014?

Jonathan K. Waldron

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again, approximately a week early, to hit the campaign trail for the November elections. This essentially means that including the summer recess, Congress will have been in session for a total of about eight days between the end of July and the middle of November 2014. No wonder why Congress has not been able to accomplish much this year, to date.

Defense Authorization Conferees Support Navy/Shipbuilding Industry

The Conferees on the Defense Authorization Bill, S.1059, for fiscal year 2000 wrapped up their conference after providing "Extended Lease" authority of 20 years or more to the Secretary of the Navy for the services of non-combatant ships, and rejecting an attempt by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to repeal the three-year waiting period before foreign-built ships are eligible to carry preference cargo. The House Armed Services Committee has been working for three years to provide the Secretary of the Navy the authority to enter into long-term leases of the services of newly constructed non-combatant ships as an alternative to procuring the ships in the Shipbuilding and Conversion Account.

House: Give Extra Billion to the Navy

It appears that the considerable, unrelenting lobbying effort of shipbuilders and Navy leaders has finally worked. According to a wire reports, a House of Representatives panel on Tuesday, April 30, voted to spend $3.2 billion more on military hardware than the President asked for, a sum which includes an additional $1 billion for Navy Ships. Reuters reported that the House Armed Services procurement subcommittee approved a plan to provide $73.4 billion for aircraft, submarines, missile defense and other military hardware for next fiscal year that starts in October. It is part of the $396 billion defense bill the full committee is to consider on Wednesday that lays the groundwork for President George W. Bush's plan for the biggest military buildup in more than two decades.

House Judiciary Committee Approves FY 2008 Coast Guard Bill

The House Judiciary Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2008 authorization bill for the U.S. Coast Guard. The legislation has already cleared the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Prior to final approval, the Judiciary Committee added language strengthening the Coast Guard’s ability to combat maritime smugglers of illegal immigrants and would rachet up security at ports and liquefied natural gas facilities. It would also increase funding for the Coast Guard’s controversial Project Deepwater program designed to modernize its fleet. The addition of $229m for the program would restore deepwater acquisition funding to its F.Y. 2007 level of $1.2b.

ASA Touts Shipbuilding Victory

leases of foreign-built ships to not more than one year. Services Committee. amendment,” said Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association. (DOD) practice has been to evade the Budget Enforcement Act and U.S. leases of 59 months in duration, foreign-built ships to the detriment of America’s defense industrial base,” said Brown. because of budget analyses demonstrating that leasing is more expensive to the taxpayer than a direct acquisition. same ship for another 59 months to meet military unique long-term mission requirements. first year as required by Office of Management and Budget regulations accompanying the Budget Enforcement Act. U.S. law also requires that ships purchased for all branches of the Armed Forces be built in the United States.

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Dips in June

Photo: LCA

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 6.2 million tons in June, a decrease of 6 percent compared to May, and nearly 5 percent below the level of a year ago, the Lakes Carriers' Association (LCA) announced. Loadings at U.S. ports totaled 5.5 million tons, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian ports in the Seaway totaled 695,000, an increase of 19 percent, but in terms of tons, the trade rose perhaps five cargos for the month.

WRRDA Conference Report Released

The Conference Report to H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives today, introduced in the House by Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W.Va.), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.). H.R. 3080 passed the House by a vote of 417 to 3 on October 23, 2013. House and Senate conferees reached agreement on a final measure last week, and now both Houses of Congress must approve the Conference Report in order to send it to the President to be signed into law.

Naval shipbuilding gets booster shot in legislative chambers

The Conferees on the Defense Authorization Bill, S.1059, for fiscal year 2000 wrapped up their conference after providing "Extended Lease" authority of 20 years or more to the Secretary of the Navy for the services of non-combatant ships, and rejecting an attempt by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to repeal the three-year waiting period before foreign-built ships are eligible to carry preference cargo. The House Armed Services Committee has been working for three years to provide the Secretary of the Navy the authority to enter into long-term leases of the services of newly constructed non-combatant ships as an alternative to procuring the ships in the Shipbuilding and Conversion Account.

Senate Rejects Proposal to Increase Port Security Funding

Following months of repeated efforts to ensure funding to secure the nation's ports, U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings offered an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations legislation Wednesday that would have increased the port security-specific funding to $450 million without adding to the total cost of the bill. The amendment, which directed $300 million in critical infrastructure funding specifically to port security and added to the $150 million already in the bill, was defeated 50-48 largely along party lines. "With this amendment, I attempted to help meet the ports' needs while staying within the cost of the overall bill," said Hollings, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Editor's Note

Despite the renewed vigor for military activities due to the prolonged commitment to fighting terrorism at home and abroad, it seems that lawmakers are still reticent — via the proposal of a Navy Budget for Fiscal Years '02 and '03 — to spend adequate levels of money to maintain a strong fleet. According to the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), The Defense Authorization Bill for FY02, that passed both the House and Senate (S.1438) on December 13, authorizes a paltry 5 and 1/7 new naval ships, despite the ASA's contention that 12 ships per year are needed to sustain the 305-ship navy mandated in the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review. Meanwhile, a draft of the Navy's FY03 budget proposes to buy only five new ships.

Review: Navy Plans to Reduce Fleet

According to www.dailypress.com, a draft Pentagon blueprint renews a plan to shrink the Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers, barely a month after Congress blocked the move. Excerpts of the draft Quadrennial Defense Review, conducted every four years to guide military strategy, call for a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers - or one fewer than exist today. The Navy pushed hard last year to reduce the fleet by mothballing the USS John F. Kennedy, based in Mayport, Fla. But Congress saved the carrier last month by mandating a 12-carrier fleet in the final version of a defense authorization bill. Hampton Roads is now home to five aircraft carriers - each of which sustains thousands of jobs for the region's economy.

Ice, Weather Slow Great Lakes Stone Trade

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1.8 million tons in April, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the month’s five-year average, and a drop of 30 percent compared to 2012, the last April in which ice conditions were not near arctic, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Heavy ice cover on the Lakes was the major factor behind the decreases. The ice formations were so formidable that the U.S.-flag Class V lakers that are heavily engaged in the stone trade collectively delayed their sailings by 60 days compared to 2014. Class V lakers are vessels that range in length from 600 to 649 feet and can transit rivers such as the Cuyahoga in Cleveland or the Saginaw River in Michigan. Cold temperatures also slowed the resumption of mining at several quarries.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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