The United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act (HR 2932)
This act would mint commemorative coins for the US Coast Guard, with all proceeds from the sale of the coins going to the creation of the National Coast Guard Museum Association to further the construction of the National Coast Guard Museum in New London, CT. Currently the Coast Guard is the only military service without a museum of its own to celebrate its role in the life of our nation and to honor the men and women who serve.
HR 2932 was introduced on August 1, 2013 by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) and was referred to the House Financial Services Committee. It currently has 26 bipartisan supporters. Under the House Rules, any commemorative coin act requires 2/3rds support of the House before a hearing can be scheduled. It currently needs an additional 264 cosponsors—ask your Representative to sign on as a cosponsor today!
Why We Support This Bill:
The minting of the Coast Guard commemorative coins would bring further support and recognition to the US Coast Guard and help fund the National Coast Guard Museum. Since its inception in 1790, the Coast Guard has established a proud and illustrious history which deserves recognition from the public. The Coast Guard’s mission is carried out by 42,000 highly trained men and women who perform with integrity, dedication and honor to duty and country. The public is generally unaware of the scale and scope of the Coast Guard’s operations. The Museum will send a clear message both through its exhibits and its iconic image: Respect the past, engage the present and look to the future.
This act allows alternative records to be used as proof of service for Merchant Marine Mariners whose records have either been lost, destroyed or were never issued in the first place. Alternative records are especially needed for women and children whose service has not been previously recognized. Thanks to the new records allowed under this act, they will be able to obtain formal recognition as veterans of World War II.
The bill passed the House on October 28 as part of HR 2189, by a vote of 404-1. The bill’s sponsor, Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), stated, “This is a special moment. For too long, the brave men and women who served their country during World War II in the Merchant Marine have gone unrecognized for their service. We have taken another step in an effort to do the right thing and honor these mariners while they are still with us.” H.R. 2189, with the Merchant Mariner provisions, now heads to the U.S. Senate where it will have to be passed before it becomes law. On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a legislative hearing on the companion bill to Butterfield’s legislation, S. 1361, which is sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Susan Collins.
Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs (PL 480), which use American-flagged vessels to deliver American grown food to the hungry abroad, are in jeopardy. These programs have successfully delivered American food aid for nearly 60 years with a successful track record, and have enjoyed long-standing bipartisan support. The Administration has already reduced program funding and they are currently at risk of losing funding entirely, as the FY 2014 budget request may eliminate these programs altogether.
Why We Support This Program:
Dismantling the Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs will undermine the U.S. Merchant Marine and will have devastating impacts to our national security. Without a strong Merchant Marine, we may be forced to depend on politically unreliable foreign ships and crew to deliver military and relief cargoes. Food for Peace and Food for Progress is a significant source of American jobs and stimulates economic activity in the farm and transportation industries at home, as well as a source of American goodwill around the world.
The Saving Essential American Sailors Act (HR 6170)
This bill restores the rescinded longstanding, bipartisan supported U.S. cargo preference for food aid.
Introduced to the House by Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in July 2012. It has been referred to the House Armed Services Committee snad the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It has 42 bipartisan cosponsors.
Why We Support this Bill:
Without this bill., the U.S. Merchant Marine could lose up to 16 U.S.-flag vessels, $90 million per year in revenue, and 2,00 direct and indirect jobs, including 640 seagoing mariner jobs. We rely on the availability of U.S. Merchant Marine vessels, infrastructure, and manpower to ensure the safe delivery of military equipment and supplies to our soldiers. Once the U.S. flag Merchant Marine capability is diminished due to the impacts of the standing provision, the United States could be forced to depend on politically unreliable foreign ships and crews to deliver important military cargo during times of war and national emergency. The Navy League understands the drive to provide as much food aid as possible to those who need it. However, food air program agencies achieve no savings from the current provision as the Maritime Administration reimburses the cost differential to those agencies.
Marine Corps Aviation Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (HR 1621)
This act directs the Secretary of the Treasury, during the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2015, to mint and issue up to 100,000, $10 coins emblematic of the warrior ethos of the U .S. Marine Corps to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marine Aviation. This coin will help enable the Marine Corps Heritage Center to raise funds at no cost to the taxpayer.
HR 1621 was introduced on April 15, 2011 by Congressman John Kline (R-Minn.) and referred to House Financial Services Committee. The bill currently has the bipartisan support of 60 co-sponsors. It needs 290 signatures to get to the floor.
Why We Support this Bill:
The printing of this coin will bring recognition to the bravery of Marine aviators and help raise funds to support the construction of the Marine Corps Heritage Center.
Veteran Skills to Jobs Act (HR 4155)
This act directs the head of each federal department and agency to treat military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for federal licenses.
HR 4155 was introduced on March 7, 2012 by Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and passed by the House on July 9, 2012. The bill has been received by the Senate which passed the related bill, S. 2239, on June 29, 2012. The Senate passed the House version July 11, 2012.
Why We Supported this Act:
This act will aid veterans by reducing the obstacles that can make the transition to civilian life difficult. Employers also benefit by having access to a highly skilled talent pool.
Adoption of the Talent-Nelson Amendment in Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act
The Talent-Nelson Amendment reformed the regulations of payday lending to uniformed service members and dependents. Among other new regulations, lenders are now prohibited from issuing loans with an annual interest rate of more than 36% to service members.
Why we supported this law:
This amendment helped to stem predatory lending practices that too often trapped service members and their families in cycles of indebtedness. The negative consequences of these loans can significantly decrease the quality of life for service members and even become a threat to personnel readiness.
Section 1002 and 1003 in the Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006
Section 1002 establishes the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogations as a uniform standard for the interrogation of Department of Defense detainees. Section 1003 prohibits cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment of detainees.
Why we supported this law:
An important part of what makes our nation great is our respect for rule of law and human dignity. A written standard for the treatment of detainees helps us uphold this reputation in the eyes of the world.
Funding for the Integrated Deepwater System Program in Fiscal Year 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations
The Coast Guard Deepwater Program began in 2002 to replace aging ships and aircraft as well as logistic and command and control systems. This was in response to the determination in the 1990’s that the USCG’s aging fleet was making it difficult for it to complete its missions. The program was expanded in 2005 to create a fleet that could fulfill the new post-9/11 USCG mission needs.
Why we supported this law:
We supported the full funding of the Bush administration’s FY06 request of $966 million. We knew that full funding would empower the Coast Guard to invest more proactively and wisely in new platforms, which promised a better return than sustaining many of its aging cutters and aircraft. At first the House only approved $500 million for the program, but ultimately Congress appropriated $933.1 million in September 2005.
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