The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, which includes several components that affect the boating industry, has passed the U.S. Senate and will head to the U.S. House for a vote in early 2016.
The bill, H.R. 4188, passed the Senate by a voice vote Friday after amendment. The previous version passed the House on December 10, but will return for a vote on the amended bill after Congress reconvenes in 2016.
Among other issues covered in the bill is the implementation of new model year standards, as agreed to by the industry, of intros June 1 to July 30, with the opportunity for manufacturers to obtain an exemption for new model introduction prior to June 1, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
U.S. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who respectively serve as the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation with jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, provided the following statements on Senate passage of the reauthorization:
“This bill supports keeping America safe,” said Thune. “On a bipartisan basis, we have worked together to give the brave men and women who serve in the Coast Guard the tools they need to do their jobs and protect our shores.”
“Ensuring the Coast Guard is properly equipped is a matter of national security,” said Nelson. “This bill will bolster their efforts to keep mariners safe and our waters secure from terrorists and drug smugglers.”