Coast Guard gets $7.9B in funding

Coast Guard gets $7.9B in funding

WASHINGTON -- A House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee approved a $7.9 billion measure Thursday to reauthorize the U.S. Coast Guard.

The bill (HR 3879), approved by the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, includes more than $1.5 billion for acquisitions, constructions and improvements, including $1.1 billion for the Deepwater Project. The project is intended to replace or modernize over 20 years Coast Guard equipment for missions which occur more than 50 miles offshore.

The Bush administration had proposed $678 million for Deepwater for fiscal 2005, and the original bill called for $858 million before the subcommittee adopted an amendment to increase spending by more than $240 million.

The bill also would authorize more than $5.1 billion for operations, $117 million for reserve training, and $18.5 million for research, development, testing and evaluation.

Under the spending levels authorized in the bill, the Coast Guard would be able to support up to 45,500 active-duty personnel.

The bill moves to the full committee for consideration.

-- Andrew Beadle