United States Senate News

19 Apr 2018

American Waterways Operators Responds to Senate

Photo: American Waterways Operators

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate rejected legislation - Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - that would have simplified regulatory oversight of vessel discharges. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, due to inclusion of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) within the bill, failed by three votes to reach the 60 votes needed in the United States Senate to end debate and move to a vote on final passage. While the vote tally reflected bipartisan support for the Coast Guard authorization bill with VIDA included…

23 Jun 2015

ICTSI Efforts to Labor Slowdowns

Senator James E. Risch

The Preventing Labor Union Slowdowns Act of 2015 (PLUS Act) was introduced last Thursday in the United States Senate to help prevent the type of maritime labor slowdowns at the Port of Portland and 28 other West Coast ports that disrupted domestic and international trade and nearly brought the U.S. economy to a standstill earlier this year. The PLUS Act, which was introduced by Idaho Senator James Risch, was the result of efforts by ICTSI Oregon, Inc., the terminal operating company for the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6…

25 Mar 2015

Senate Confirms Doyle to Another Term

William P. Doyle

The United States Senate confirmed William P. Doyle to another term in office as a Federal Maritime Commissioner on the evening of March 23, 2015. The vote was a unanimous 89 in favor, 0 opposed, and 11 senators not voting. Upon confirmation, Commissioner Doyle said, “I would like to thank President Obama for his confidence in me, and I would also like to thank the U.S. Senate for taking up my nomination today. William Doyle was originally confirmed by the Senate on January 1, 2013 to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Joseph Brennan.

15 Dec 2014

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.

24 Nov 2014

Hagel Resigns as Defense Secretary

Chuck Hagel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, the first major change to President Barack Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago. Obama announced the resignation at a White House event with Hagel at his side. Hagel will remain in the job until a successor is in place. Hagel was appointed less than two years ago as Obama pushed his signature program of winding up wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a process that is being upended this year with U.S. re-engagement in Iraq and greater military cooperation with Kabul.

06 Mar 2014

Offshore Insights from OMSA's Ben Billings

Ben Billings

Ben Billings serves as President & CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), a nationwide trade association headquartered in New Orleans that represents more than 200 member companies. OMSA’s membership includes approximately 100 firms operating more than 1,200 vessels that provide transportation services to the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. It’s arguably a very good time to be at the helm of OMSA, with a resurgent U.S.

31 Jan 2013

Doyle Joins FMC

On Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of William P. Doyle, of Pennsylvania, to be a Federal Maritime Commissioner. Commissioner Doyle was sworn in on January 10, 2013. Today, a ceremonial swearing-in of Mr. Doyle took place at the Commission. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Doyle served over 20 years in the maritime and transportation industry holding senior positions in executive leadership and operations. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Weymouth. His executive leadership experience includes serving as the Chief of Staff for the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), which coupled with his experience as an Officer in the U.S.

25 Jun 2012

North American Emission Rules for Ships to Enter Force

The author, Dennis Bryant.

On 1 August 2012, enforcement of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) is due to commence. This third and largest ECA (the other two encompass the North Sea and the Baltic Sea areas) was first proposed by Canada and the United States on 27 March 2009. France quickly joined in on behalf of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, its territory off the Atlantic coast of Canada. The proposal was approved by the IMO on 26 March 2010 by means of an amendment to Annex VI (Regulations for Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) to the MARPOL Convention.

01 Jun 2012

LA Port Chief Wins Conservation Award

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz.

Port of Los angeles Executive Director Receivs Peter Benchley ‘Excellence in Solutions' Ocean Conservation Award. Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., has been named the 2012 recipient of the Blue Frontier Campaign’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award for  “Excellence in Solutions.” The Blue Frontier Campaign is a national marine conservation activist organization working to improve ocean policies in coastal states. The Peter Benchley Award is named in honor of lifetime marine wildlife conservationist Peter Benchley, best known for writing the bestseller novel ‘Jaws’ in 1974.

03 Aug 2011

Mike Toohey Named President and CEO of WCI

Today, Waterways Council, Inc.’s (WCI) Board of Directors unanimously elected Mike Toohey as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Toohey will assume his duties effective August 14. With more than 30 years of federal government expertise, Toohey most recently served as Consultant with The Livingston Group’s Transportation, Shipbuilding, Shipping and Ports practice area. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Government Affairs for Ashland Inc., a chemical, energy and construction company.

22 Jul 2011

Mike Toohey Tapped to Lead Waterways Council, Inc.

Washington, DC – It was announced today that Mike Toohey has been selected to become President and CEO of Waterways Council, Inc. by the organization’s Search and Executive Committees. A special meeting of the WCI Board of Directors has been called for August 2, 2011 to formally consider his election to the organization’s presidency. With more than 30 years of federal government expertise, Mr. Toohey most recently served as Consultant with The Livingston Group’s Transportation, Shipbuilding, Shipping and Ports practice area. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Government Affairs for Ashland Inc., a global chemical, energy and construction company. During his 19 years with the Ashland, Mr.

09 Dec 2009

Matsuda Nominated MARAD Administrator

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate David T. Matsuda, Administrator, Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. David T. Matsuda has been serving as Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator of the United States Maritime Administration since July 2009. He is a transportation professional with more than a decade of experience in federal transportation policy, programs and oversight. Prior to his current position, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), where he served as a chief policy advisor and focused on issues including surface transportation reauthorization…

12 Jun 2003

Members of Senate Oppose FY 2004 Proposal

of operating and maintaining the nation's inland waterways. bi-partisan coalition of key legislators from a cross section of the country. the Inland Waterways Trust Fund through a fuel tax of 20 cents-per-gallon. locks and dams on the inland waterway system and major rehabilitation. and dams continue to erode. nation. waterways," the letter states. security. commodities which are generally described as the 'building blocks' of the U.S. the letter continued. infrastructure. which is deposited into general revenues. well as for operations and maintenance of the nation's coastal ports. the rapid mobilization of U.S. forces. transportation to congested highways and rail lines. negatively impact U.S. competitiveness," the letter said.

19 Mar 2002

Commissioner Moran to Leave FMC

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Harold J. Creel, Jr., announced today that Commissioner John A. Moran has submitted his resignation from the Federal Maritime Commission, effective April 15, 2002. Commissioner Moran was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission on October 15, 1998, and confirmed by the United States Senate on October 21, 1998. He was sworn in on October 27, 1998. Chairman Creel noted that Commissioner Moran came to the Commission just thirteen days after the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 ("OSRA") was signed into law and that Commissioner Moran's experience in congressional and legislative affairs…

04 Jan 2002

Senate Approves Major Port Security Bill

In late December, the United States Senate approved a 95-page bill to enhance security at our nation's ports. Action on counterpart legislation in the House may take place in a few weeks. S. 1214 is entitled the "Port and Maritime Security Act of 2001." Its primary sponsor is Senator Hollings of South Carolina. Provisions of interest include: (1) a private sector advisory committee to help the U.S. Secretary of Transportation address port and maritime security issues; (2) security vulnerability assessments at all ports and waterfront facilities; (3) local port security committees, with private sector participation; (4) Coast Guard "sea marshals" who may board and ride certain arriving vessels of high risk; and (5) loan guarantees and grants to help finance port security improvements.

07 Jul 2003

News: Opposition Mounts to Inland Waterway Tax

In a June 3 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels, 23 members of the United States Senate, two of which chair key Senate committees, have expressed their strong opposition to the proposal in the FY 2004 budget to assess between 25 and 50 percent of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to cover not only the currently mandated costs of new capital improvements and major rehabilitation on the inland system, but also the costs of operating and maintaining the nation's inland waterways. The senators - John Breaux (D-LA); Arlen Specter (R-PA); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); John Warner (R-VA, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee)…

28 Sep 2001

West Coast Waterfront Coalition Asks for Balanced Security

In a letter sent to every member of the United States Senate, the West Coast Waterfront Coalition expressed its general support for the Port and Maritime Security Act (S. 1214), but called on the Senate to make two critical changes to the bill before passing it. The group called on the Senate “to remember the importance that our West Coast Ports play in the national economy,” and “to be sensitive to the needs of U.S. businesses all across the country for the rapid movement of inputs to production, parts, and finished products.” In the letter, signed by West Coast Waterfront Coalition Executive Director Robin Lanier, the group called on the Senate to include new provisions in the bill that would require identification cards and background checks for port workers.

20 Jun 2008

AAPA Urges Swift Passage of Vessel Air Emissions Bill

The American Association of Port Authorities this week sent an urgent request to leaders of the United States Senate and leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, urging them to endorse swift passage of H.R. 802, the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act, and then transmit the legislation to the President for signing by June 28. The legislation would implement Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, more commonly known as MARPOL, and would have air quality benefits for port communities throughout the  Annex VI, which is an international treaty that sets limits for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and oxides of sulfur (SOx) from ship exhaust, is the world protocol for regulating vessel emissions.

24 Jul 2006

WCI Supports Bill Passage

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) expressed its pleasure with the passage in the United States Senate of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation, S. 728, which authorizes critical U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waterways and natural resources programs. Seven lock and dam modernization projects on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and Bayou Sorrel on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway will be authorized by this legislation. The strong vote in favor of the WRDA bill underscores a growing understanding of the importance of the Corps of Engineers Civil Works program and of the benefits of the inland waterways system and its role in keeping the U.S. economically strong and competitive.

29 Oct 2008

Shipbuilders Support Collins for Senate

In recognition of her commitment to the men and women who work at Bath Iron Works, a coalition of shipbuilders pledged their support for Susan Collins for re-election to the United States Senate. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Collins has supported legislation to provide a continued and steady workload at Bath Iron Works (BIW). Senator Collins has stated that BIW has been, and must continue to be, a central part of efforts to expand and modernize the U.S. Naval fleet to counter existing and emerging threats.

15 May 2009

Reed Receives Herbert H. Bateman Award

The American Shipbuilding Association (ASA) announced that Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is the 2009 recipient of the Herbert H. Bateman Award. This award was presented on Wednesday, May 13th at 6:00 pm during ASA’s Salute to the 111th Congress reception in the Gold Room (2168) of the Rayburn House Office Building. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Senator Reed is a senior Member of the Armed Services Committee, a Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower, and a Member of the Appropriations Committee. Senator Jack Reed has dedicated his years in the United States Senate to working men and women who build the finest submarines and surface ships in the world so that American Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and women have the best in executing their missions.

12 Apr 2007

Collins to Speak At Maine Maritime Commencement

Maine Maritime Academy announced that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will address the graduating class at the college’s 64th commencement on May 5. Collins was elected to represent Maine in the United States Senate in 1996. Upon taking office, she was the first freshman senator ever to serve as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Following her re-election in 2002, Collins became chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. The committee presides over the Department of Homeland Security and works closely with other Senate committees that deal with agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection. She is also a member of the Armed Services Committee.

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