UPDATE, OCTOBER 15
President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Bill today. For details, check out the news release from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.
President Obama is expected to sign a sweeping authorization bill that reorganizes U.S Coast Guard operations, increases maritime safety rules and calls for improved oil-spill prevention and response in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
It seems this bill has something for everyone, at least among those of us living in coastal states. By skimming through the Coast Guard bill or reading a summary, you get an idea of just how sweeping these changes will be for the Coast Guard.
The legislation, largely written by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, was blocked by Republican leaders in the Senate for the past four years. To get approval, several provisions were stripped from the bill in the Senate. Then in the House, many of these ideas were put back in and ultimately approved when it came back to the Senate.
What are the most important parts of the bill? Well, that
depends on whether you are involved in the Coast Guard, the
shipping industry, the fishing fleet or just want to protect
against oil spills or terrorists.