12-7-12

House Passes Two-Year USCG Authorization

The House passed an amended version of the FY 2013 and FY 2014 Coast Guard Authorization Act (H.R. 2838), sponsored by Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (N.J.), chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.   This bill was initially passed the House in November 2011 and the Senate adopted a revised version in September 2012. The House this week amended the bill further, passed it by voice vote and sent it back to the Senate for consideration.

The bill includes critical provisions that will give the Coast Guard and its personnel greater parity with the Department of Defense (DoD) – a top legislative priority for FRA.   The legislation authorizes an end strength of 47,000 active duty personnel, and a budget of $8.6 billion for FY 2013 and $8.7 billion for FY 2014. The bill also mandates that the Commandant provide the House and Senate Transportation Committees a report on service member housing no later than 30 days after the enactment of this bill.  The bill also reauthorizes Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) until FY 2018, limiting the number of TERA retirements for commissioned officers to less than 200 and to less than 300 for enlisted members.