The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. This legislation is a tribute to the late Elijah E. Cummings, a democratic congressman and civil rights advocate who served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland’s 7th congressional district until his death on October 17, 2019. He served as a U.S. Representative for over 20 years. Cummings’ hard work and dedication to serve and empower the people led to a great deal of contributions that impacted politics tremendously.

New Boating Safety Measures Passed by the House of Representatives

The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Coast Guard uses a Chain of Command system for operation, control, and authority. They also work with the federal maritime law enforcement agency to enforce both national and international rules and regulations for boating safety to secure safe navigation through water. The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 contains new provisions to keep Americans safe and protected while addressing the ever-changing needs of the maritime transportation industry. This comprehensive bill includes an increase of authorized fundings, a mandate regarding the wear of engine cut-off devices for operators of boats under 26 feet, new requirements for reports, childcare policies, demonstration program authorizations, an increase in gender and racial diversity in the Coast Guard Academy, and the granting of equivalency authority. The funding for the U.S. Coast Guard has been increased to account for a $1.8 billion backlog and equivalency authority will enable the Coast Guard to grant approval of the recreational boating industry construction standards and technologies.

The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 bipartisan legislation was led by the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter Anthony DeFazio. Peter DeFazio is a democratic congressman who serves as the U.S. Representative for Oregon’s 4th congressional district. DeFazio introduced the Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Act to provide financial assistance to states and maritime industry entities during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events, marine accidents, or terrorist incidents.

Benefits to the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act

Working in the maritime industry can be a rewarding career, especially for those in the U.S. Coast Guard, but the maritime industry is known for having very risky working conditions. “Almost every field within the maritime industry comes with inherent dangers which makes injuries fairly common. Proper maritime safety precautions and the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 can provide significant improvements to the work environment and lives of those in the industry.” Said Attorney Joe Kopfler of Kopfler and Hermann, Attorneys at Law.

Many are seeing the benefits that The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 can offer.  Sean Patrick Maloney, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, believes the bipartisan Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 will help us better protect our national security and the maritime transportation industry. Drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, living marine resources, and other law enforcement are a few of the statutory missions for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement program. These provisions will significantly strengthen the Coast Guard and improve the maritime transportation industry on many different levels. The Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 is an important step forward on improving the maritime industry as a whole.

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