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Joe C.
Democrat CT 2

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  • Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015

    by Representative Joe Courtney

    Posted on 2015-12-10

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    COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, as a co-chairman of the House Coast Guard Caucus and the Representative from southeastern Connecticut with a deep connection to the Coast Guard, I rise in strong support of the Coast Guard authorization bill and the hard work of Chairman Hunter and Ranking Member Garamendi.

    Every single day, the men and women of our Coast Guard are operating around the country and around the world to enforce our laws and protect our country. This bill provides them the tools and support they need to do this important work.

    In particular, I want to highlight a specific provision in this bill, section 219, that I was pleased to work with my colleague from Connecticut, Senator Blumenthal, and committee staff to bolster the National Coast Guard Museum.

    Despite a history that reaches back to the founding of our Nation, the Coast Guard is the only armed service without a national museum to highlight its heritage. Indeed, the Coast Guard this year is celebrating its 225th anniversary, and it is actually older than the U.S. Navy. Thankfully, efforts are underway to change this.

    The nonprofit National Coast Guard Museum Association is building national support and funding for a new museum in New London, Connecticut. When completed, Mr. Speaker, this facility will be a tribute to all who have served and those who serve today in the Coast Guard, and I am proud to support their efforts.

    Section 219 ensures that the Coast Guard can provide support to preserve and display its historical artifacts that will be a key part of the museum. This language opens the vault of the Coast Guard's rich treasure of maritime artifacts from America's oldest maritime fleet to be displayed for learning and understanding by the American public and the world.

    This is a huge boost to the effort to create a long-overdue museum and sends a powerful signal that this effort has the backing of Congress, the Federal Government, and the Coast Guard.

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Commandant Admiral Zukunft; former Commandant Papp, who is his predecessor; Joann Burdian; Brittany Panetta; and Kent Reinhold in the Coast Guard legislative office for the work that they have done with my office on this and other critical Coast Guard issues and, above all else, for their service to our Nation.

    I congratulate Chairman Hunter and Ranking Member Garamendi for their strong advocacy for our Coast Guard and our Nation's maritime industry.

    [[Page H9242]] Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of the bill.

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