Graves’ provisions pass as part of Coast Guard Authorization Act

Several bipartisan provisions offered by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) successfully made it into the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 during the March 2 markup of the bill by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Specifically, Rep. Graves’ provisions added to H.R. 6865 ensure foreign fishing fleets do not illegally fish in United States’ waters; prioritize America’s domestic workforce; strengthen maritime security; bolster U.S. Coast Guard personnel and upgrade its aging fleet, according to a March 7 statement released by the congressman’s staff.

The committee gave voice vote approval to H.R. 6865, which now heads to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for action.

The provisions Rep. Graves pushed for and prioritized during the markup included an amendment setting automatic identification system requirements for fishing vessels of a certain size that are near United States’ waters so they can be tracked.

“This helps to ensure fair competition for our domestic fishing industry so foreign fleets are not at a competitive advantage,” according to Rep. Graves’ statement. “This provision would also prevent overfishing in the United States and foreign waters.”

In addition to Rep. Graves’ provisions, H.R. 6865 would make several efforts to improve the Coast Guard, including by authorizing two years of funding to help restore underfunded shoreside infrastructure and IT capabilities. 

Notably for the shipbuilding industry in the congressman’s home state of Louisiana, H.R. 6865 would authorize six additional Fast Response Cutters, a National Security Cutter, and a new Great Lakes icebreaker, according to his statement.