House Appropriations Committee FY2024 Budget Hearings

Note the video above does not actually start until about minute 17.

Above is a video of the Commandant’s testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations that occurred about two weeks ago. It may be worth noting that those present were not the full committee. The full committee includes 71 members, currently 34 Republican and 27 Democrat.

The Coast Guard enjoys bi-partisan support in Congress, and it was evident in this committee hearing.

Concerns identified included:

  • IUU fishing
  • Border security/drugs/immigrants
  • Recruiting problems
  • Chinese investments/influence in Mexico’s transportation systems
  • The effects of offshore wind farms

There was discussion about the Unfunded Priority list, including:

  • Funding of four additional Fast Response Cutters,
  • Improvements at the Coast Guard Yard that would allow a larger floating dry dock capable of servicing the Offshore Patrol Cutters (1:21:00),
  • and various infrastructure improvements. Charleston, Seattle, and Alaska in particular were mentioned.

There was a lot of concern about the influx of non-prescription fentanyl. This is a problem the Coast Guard has not had much of a role in countering, but there was hope that the Coast Guard might be able to work with the Mexican Navy on ways to track the distribution of precursor chemicals which are imported into Mexico legally.

There was discussion of the lack of progress on the Polar Security Cutters and questions about the waterways commerce cutters.

The Commandant was consistent with her previous statements that the Work Force is her highest priority. Increased recruiting capacity, additional recruiters and recruiting offices, has been funded.

Some comments that surprised me:

  • Indo-Pacific support cutter, Harriet Lane, to arrive in Honolulu before the end of the year, will operate out of there for a couple of years before going on to her final homeport. (49:00)
  • Maritime illegal immigration attempts peaked earlier in the year and are now decreasing.
  • A Maritime Domain Awareness data fusion center has been started. The CG is getting Saildrone USVs to assist in data collection. Scan Eagle was mentioned but there was no specific discussion about land based UAS.
  • Purchase of a commercially available icebreaker was included in the FY2023 budget but was delayed until FY2024. The CG is apparently now ready to proceed with that.

The Commandant also confirmed that the Coast Guard was ready to proceed with procurement of a Great Lakes icebreaker with capabilities similar to Mackinaw (1:10:00).

There is a report on the hearings by “Workboat” here. Thanks to Paul for making me aware of this article, that then led me to find the video above. 

4 thoughts on “House Appropriations Committee FY2024 Budget Hearings

  1. Ahhh, come again! There are 71 members on the US House Committee on Appropriations, 34 Republicans and 21 Democrats! Who are the other 16 members, when there’s only 3 Independents in the entire US House of Representatives…

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