Bill to Authorize Guard Commemorative Coin to Fund Museum

A pair of press releases concerning the planned Coast Guard Museum, both notably from Connecticut. First from Senator Chris Murphy.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.), U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2), and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) reintroduced on Wednesday the bipartisan United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act, a bill to honor the men and women of the Coast Guard and support the National Coast Guard Museum in New London. The Coast Guard plays a broad and important role in homeland security, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental pollution response, and the maintenance of river, intra-coastal and offshore aids to navigation. 

Under the United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act, proceeds from the sale of the Coast Guard Commemorative Coin would be used to support the development and operation of the National Coast Guard Museum via the National Coast Guard Museum Association, a nonprofit association dedicated to improving public understanding of the history, service and missions of the Coast Guard. Once the museum is completed, each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces will finally have a national museum through which to share its history and legacy with the American public.

“The brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard represent the only branch of the Armed Forces that is not yet recognized with a national museum. We’re trying to right that wrong and just secured an important $5 million down payment of federal funding for the construction of the National Coast Guard Museum in New London. But we need more help,” said Murphy. “I hope our colleagues will support this bill and help ensure that the Coast Guard can share its over 225-years-worth of history with the American public at the museum.”

“Our Coast Guard plays a crucial role in protecting our borders, stopping the flowing of illegal drugs and keeping our shores safe. The men and women who serve in this capacity are called on during times of emergency, natural disasters and foreign conflict. I’m proud to recognize their service and sacrifice with a commemorative coin that will help in the efforts to build a museum that preserves and features the history of the Coast Guard,” Boozman said. 

“The Coast Guard has stayed true to their motto, Semper Paratus or ‘’Always Ready,’’ for nearly 227 years, and it’s about time we honored their service with a national museum dedicated to their work,” said Courtney. “Our bill will not only honor the Coast Guard with a commemorative coin, but will also provide critical resources to make the National Coast Guard Museum a reality. Although the Coast Guard is the smallest branch of the armed services today, it plays an outsized role when it comes to protecting our shores and our national security. The Coast Guard conducts a wide variety of missions to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in maritime regions, including international waters and America’s coasts, ports and inland waterways. It is time that we honor the men and women of the Coast Guard with a proud home to tell their story and display objects from their history.” 

Blumenthal said, “New London has been a true leader in laying the groundwork for this landmark museum, and deserves full partnership from the federal government in its historic effort. I was proud to help lead the effort to secure the first $5 million in federal dollars for the Coast Guard Museum. The Coast Guard commemorative coin would be a valuable, additional source of ongoing critical funding—an important supplement to the $5 million appropriation. I look forward to standing with the Coast Guard community in New London when the museum opens its doors.”

Murphy, Boozman, Courtney, and Blumenthal have been longtime advocates of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Coast Guard Museum. The Omnibus Appropriations bill released earlier this week includes the first federal funding – $5 million – for the museum. In the Appropriations Committee, Murphy first succeeded in including the provision in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which passed the committee last May and served as the basis for the DHS portion of the current funding bill. Blumenthal, Courtney, and Murphy successfully eliminated the ban on federal funds within the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which was signed into law last year.

The second from Representative Joe Courtney:

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement today on the bipartisan omnibus funding bill keeping the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017. The legislation included $5 million in new funding for the National Coast Guard Museum:

“The Coast Guard occupies a special place in eastern Connecticut and our region is proud to be the future home of the National Coast Guard Museum,” said Courtney. “With nationwide fundraising efforts already underway to design and build the new museum, I am committed to ensuring that Congress do all it can to support this worthy project. I commend Senator Murphy for playing the pivotal role in securing this funding through his work on the Senate Appropriations Committee. This is a huge boost to the national effort to create the long overdue museum, and sends a powerful signal that this effort has strong backing of the Congress, the federal government and the Coast Guard.”

Prior to passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2016 with the support of the Connecticut delegation, the Coast Guard was prohibited from using federal funding to support the design and construction of the museum. While a national private fundraising campaign was underway to raise the funds necessary to build the museum, the old law limited the ability for the Coast Guard to support efforts to preserve and display artifacts from its 225-year history at the museum. Section 219 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2016 amended the 2004 law to ensure that the Coast Guard can provide funding for “the design, fabrication, and installation of exhibits or displays in which such artifacts are included.

Courtney is a co-chair of the bipartisan House Coast Guard Caucus.

Both of these found thanks to Bryant’s Maritime Consulting Blog.

One thought on “Bill to Authorize Guard Commemorative Coin to Fund Museum

  1. Hey Chuck,

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention…keep me up to date on if this passes, I would certainly consider purchasing one.

    Dave

    ________________________________

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