On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., introduced the Coast Guard Shore Infrastructure Improvement Act, legislation to help reduce and better manage the serious maintenance backlog for Coast Guard shore infrastructure.
A February Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that 45% of Coast Guard shoreside assets have exceeded their services lives, and the service has at least $2.6 billion in project backlogs.
“I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to standardize maintenance of Coast Guard installations as we prepare to bring our national defense to the 21st century and combat the effects of climate change at home,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “At U.S. Coast Guard stations in my district, Coast Guard members spend off-duty time doing repairs and maintenance on their station — instead of resting and preparing for their next assignment. The infrastructure maintenance backlog is hurting our Coast Guard’s readiness and making us less secure, and I’m pleased that we can tackle this serious issue on a bipartisan basis.”
“America’s prosperity, security and future rely on the global economic advantage of our maritime transportation system — and that system depends on the Coast Guard and its partnership with industry to keep waterborne commerce moving safely and efficiently,” said Graves. “With an aging fleet and facilities that are falling apart, the Coast Guard’s readiness is jeopardized. This solution just makes sense. We can save taxpayers money and keep our Coasties focused on delivering the services our economy and national security depend upon.”
This legislation would direct the commandant of the Coast Guard to develop a plan to standardize Coast Guard facility assessments, establish baseline measurements to track effectiveness of maintenance and repair investments, and implement the GAO’s recommendations to better manage its maintenance projects.