WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today introduced the Unwavering Support for our Coast Guard (USCG) Act. The legislation would ensure Coast Guard personnel are paid in the event of a government shutdown and increase funding to eliminate the shore side backlog by 2025. The USCG Act would also direct a new fleet mix analysis, require an updated shore infrastructure plan, enhance Coast Guard diversity and inclusion, and provide funding to modernize the Coast Guard Yard.
“Over the past decade, the Coast Guard has taken on a greater number of missions to detect, deter, and disrupt threats to our seas and homeland, yet it remains underfunded and lacks necessary resources,” said Wicker. “My bill would provide the Coast Guard with the certainty, funding, and authorities it needs to fulfill its ever-growing responsibility for our national security. I look forward to working with my colleagues to boost support for this vital branch of the U.S. military.”
The USCG Act would:
- Provide pay and allowances to members of the Coast Guard during a funding gap;
- Authorize and make it the policy of the United States to provide full funding to address the shore side facility maintenance backlog of the Coast Guard, currently at $2.6 billion;
- Direct the Commandant to conduct an updated fleet mix analysis to meet emergent mission needs and all envisioned Coast Guard missions and develop an updated shore infrastructure plan to accommodate the updated fleet mix;
- Establish a program to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the enlisted ranks of the Coast Guard through partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions and existing Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs; and
- Provide funds to modernize the Coast Guard Yard.
Click here to read the bill.