Coast Guard Petty Officers 2nd Class Jason McCormack and Austin Essegian, both electronics technicians assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755), cut and re-terminate an antenna line running to Munro’s aircraft beacon while working aloft on the cutter’s mast approximately 147-feet above the water at Munro’s homeport in Alameda, Calif., Jan. 24, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi)

Transportation Committee Passes Coast Guard Pay, FAA Shutdown, USCG Climate Change Bills

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved a slate of bipartisan measures by voice vote during a Wednesday business meeting, including the Aviation Funding Stability Act, Notice to Airmen Improvement Act, Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, legislation to require a report on the effects of Climate Change on the Coast Guard, Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act, Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act, legislation to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that unmet needs after a major disaster are met, and the Local Water Protection Act.

“I am pleased the committee approved my bills today to protect the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration in the event of a government shutdown. I applaud Ranking Member Graves and all members of the committee for working in a bipartisan way to advance these important pieces of legislation,” said Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). “The committee has a long history of setting aside partisanship to make a real difference for the people of this country, and I look forward to working together as we tackle a major infrastructure package, and the many other priorities facing the committee in the 116th Congress.”

H.R. 367 provides continuing appropriations to the U.S. Coast Guard to compensate them for their time during which interim or full-year appropriations for the Coast Guard are not in effect. The bill was introduced on Jan. 9 by DeFazio.

“I am extremely proud that with the passage of the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, the dedicated men and women of the United States Coast Guard will no longer be forced to work without a paycheck, should there ever be another lapse in appropriations,” DeFazio said. “This legislation ensures that members of the Coast Guard will be treated like service members in every other branch of the military, and get paid on time and in full, regardless of whether or not the government is shut down.”

H.R. 1322 directs the Coast Guard to submit a report on vulnerabilities of installations and requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years. The bill was introduced on Feb. 22 by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.).

“We know climate change is going to wreak havoc on DoD facilities per the department’s own report – you don’t have to be an expert to recognize that Coast Guard facilities along our shorelines will also be threatened,” Maloney said. “The question is not if the Coast Guard will be affected – the question is how serious the threat is and what steps we can take to protect our installations.”

H.R. 1108 protects Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and personnel, and the U.S. aviation industry as a whole, in the event of a future lapse in the agency’s appropriations. The bill was introduced on Feb. 8 by DeFazio and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and has 138 bipartisan co-sponsors.

H.R. 1775 requires the FAA to establish a task force — composed of representatives from airlines, labor, and general and business aviation, as well as aviation safety and human factors experts — to review existing methods for presenting Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). Recommendations from the task force seek to improve the presentation of information in NOTAMs and ensure their accuracy and completeness. H.R. 1775 was introduced on March 14 by Reps. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.).

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