U.S. House Committee approves Coast Guard reauthorization bill

Yesterday, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3049). NMMA played an important role in shaping the bill, which includes key provisions that would improve safety measures for the 142 million Americans who take to the water each year.

The legislation includes a provision that would mandate the wear of engine cut-off devices for boats under 26 feet while under way – an important safety measure that law enforcement, manufacturers, and the recreational boating community strongly support. This builds upon the important steps Congress took last year by requiring manufacturers to install these devices in most boats under 26 feet – something many boat builders have been doing for years.

Additionally, the bill would grant the Coast Guard “equivalency” authority—allowing the Coast Guard to streamline approval of the recreational boating industry construction standards and new technologies, while maintaining the highest level of safety.

H.R. 3049 would also ensure that members of the Coast Guard will continue to receive a paycheck should the government shutdown again. Currently, the Coast Guard is the only branch of the Armed Services that has a lapse in appropriations during a government shutdown.

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