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[Congressional Record: July 25, 2000 (House)]
[Page H6896-H6902]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr25jy00-76]                         



 
 EXPRESSING SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE OF 210TH 
              ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF COAST GUARD

  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to 
the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 372) expressing the sense of 
the Congress regarding the historic significance of the 210th 
anniversary of the establishment of the Coast Guard, and for other 
purposes.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 372

       Whereas the Revenue Cutter Service was established in 1790 
     under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department;
       Whereas the Revenue Cutter Service and the United States 
     Life-Saving Service were combined in 1915 to form the Coast 
     Guard;
       Whereas in April 1967, the Coast Guard was transferred to 
     the Department of Transportation where it remains today 
     (except when operating as a service in the Navy in times of 
     war);
       Whereas the Coast Guard is comprised of nearly 35,000 
     active personnel and 28,000 reserve personnel;
       Whereas the Coast Guard is supported by approximately 
     35,000 volunteers of the Coast Guard Auxiliary;
       Whereas the Coast Guard is the Nation's premier military, 
     multimission, maritime service that provides unique, 
     nonredundant, complimentary capabilities to safeguard United 
     States national security interests;
       Whereas the Coast Guard provides unique services and 
     benefits to the United States through a distinctive blend of 
     humanitarian, law enforcement, diplomatic, and military 
     capabilities;
       Whereas the 5 operating roles of the Coast Guard are 
     maritime safety, maritime security, protection of natural 
     resources, maritime mobility, and national defense;
       Whereas each year the Coast Guard conducts on average more 
     than 65,000 search and rescue missions, saving over 5,000 
     lives and $1,400,000,000 in property;
       Whereas each year the Coast Guard, through its drug 
     interdiction efforts, keeps more than $3,000,000,000 worth of 
     drugs off United States streets;
       Whereas the Coast Guard safeguards ocean resources from 
     degradation by pollution and overuse through marine 
     environmental protection and fisheries enforcement programs;
       Whereas each year the Coast Guard responds to more than 
     11,600 hazardous waste spills, inspects approximately 34,000 
     United States vessels and 19,400 foreign vessels, and 
     investigates over 7,400 marine accidents;
       Whereas the Coast Guard maintains the largest system of 
     aids to navigation in the world, with more than 50,000 buoys, 
     fixed markers, and lighthouses;
       Whereas the Coast Guard provides critical ice breaking 
     services for the Nation's inland waterways and shipping 
     channels;
       Whereas the Coast Guard is responsible for approximately 
     18,000 highway and railroad bridges that span navigable 
     waterways throughout the Nation;
       Whereas the Coast Guard plays a leading role in the 
     Nation's undocumented migrant interdiction activities;
       Whereas the Coast Guard is a military service and a branch 
     of the Armed Forces, and plays a crucial role in the 
     President's strategy of international engagement;
       Whereas Coast Guard personnel have fought in every major 
     military conflict since its inception in 1790; and
       Whereas the men and women serving in the Coast Guard embody 
     a rich tradition of

[[Page H6897]]

     honor, devotion to duty, and dedication to service during 
     times of peace and war: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That the Congress--
       (1) recognizes the historic significance of the 210th 
     anniversary of the establishment of the Coast Guard and the 
     indelible contributions of the Coast Guard to the United 
     States;
       (2) commends--
       (A) the Coast Guard's effectiveness in protecting the 
     public, the environment, and United States economic and 
     security interests in the Nation's ports and inland 
     waterways, along the Nation's coasts, on international 
     waters, and in any maritime region in which United States 
     interests may be at risk; and
       (B) the men and women serving in the Coast Guard who risk 
     their lives to save others in danger at sea, enforce the 
     Nation's treaties and other laws, protect the marine 
     environment, ensure a safe and efficient marine 
     transportation system, and support diplomatic and national 
     defense interests of the United States worldwide; and
       (3) supports the Coast Guard in its efforts to remain 
     ``Semper Paratus''--Always Ready--as it moves forward to meet 
     the demands of the 21st century.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest) and the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest).
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Coble).
  (Mr. COBLE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest) for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, as was said, this resolution honors the United States 
Coast Guard on its 210th birthday which will occur on August 4.
  Many people, Mr. Speaker, say to me, well, what does the Coast Guard 
do? Never heard of the Coast Guard.
  Well, the Coast Guard does not do too much. All they did since 1994 
was rescue and save over 90,000 lives. All they did last year was 
establish a new record for cocaine seizures; the same Service that 
performed with dignity and courage under pressure in response to the 
numerous aviation accidents and natural disasters.
  An Independent Government Performance Project recently completed its 
second report card rating the performance of Federal agencies. The good 
news, Mr. Speaker, is that out of 20 Federal agencies rated only the 
Coast Guard and the Social Security Administration received an overall 
grade of A for their performance. That is the good news for those two 
agencies.
  How was the Coast Guard able to achieve a grade that eluded 18 other 
Federal entities? The answer, at least according to the Independent 
Government Performance Project, is innovation resulting from constant 
budgetary and operational pressure.
  The Coast Guard, Mr. Speaker, receives an appropriation of about $4 
billion a year, about the same amount that the Social Security 
Administration spends every 4 days, to do everything from rescuing 
endangered boaters, protecting fisheries, stopping illegal immigrants, 
and interdicting drugs.
  In fact, the street value of the drugs seized by the Coast Guard 
exceeds the value of its entire budget.
  As indicated in a recent GAO report during the 1990s, the Coast Guard 
has been assigned vastly increased responsibilities while shrinking its 
workforce by 10 percent and operating within a budget that has risen by 
only 1 percent in actual dollars. The time has come for us, it seems, 
Mr. Speaker, to reward the hard-working men and women of the United 
States Coast Guard by providing them with the necessary equipment and 
resources that will allow them to continue their excellent service to 
this country well into the 21st century.
  At many Veterans' Day and Memorial Day services across this country, 
it is not uncommon for speakers to refer to our four Armed Services, 
the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Time and again I have heard 
that. The Coast Guard is significantly omitted. Mr. Speaker, I do not 
think there is any ill intent involved in that. I think it is omitted 
because the Coast Guard is the only armed service, as we perhaps know, 
that is not a Member of the Department of Defense.
  I attended a Veterans' Day service in a school, Mr. Speaker, in my 
district. It has been 5 or 6 years ago. The local band honored the 
military services by playing their respective hymns. And guess what? 
The Coast Guard's marching hymn, Semper Paratus, was omitted. I almost 
knocked the table down to get to the music director. I asked her why it 
was omitted. She said, we did not have the music.
  I said to her, it is the most beautiful and most stirring marching 
hymn of the armed services. She said next year if I get her the music 
she will play it. Next year the band did, in fact, play that hymn.
  Mr. Speaker, there is a current movie that is just doing tremendously 
on box office receipts that portrays the Coast Guard in its proper 
role, and I think that many Americans take very casually what the Coast 
Guard members do day in and day out. It is indeed an unsung service. I 
call it oft times the blue collar service. I call them the buoy 
tenders. They are clearly the blue collar, the Coast Guard, but I think 
the Coast Guard is the blue collar armed service of this country and 
they serve us well.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing I would just like to wish all of our Coasties 
and our men and women throughout the Coast Guard from sea to sea, ocean 
to ocean, and express our thanks to them on behalf of the country for 
giving us the opportunity to be here and to wish them a very happy 
210th birthday.
  I want to acknowledge the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest). He 
has done a tremendous job chairing the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and 
Maritime Transportation of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure. The Coast Guardsmen tell me that from the commandant on 
down. I commend him for that. Happy birth, Coasties. Semper Paratus.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this resolution honoring the 
United States Coast Guard on its 210th birthday which will occur on 
August 4. As many in this body already know, the U.S. Coast Guard is 
our nation's oldest maritime service. What many of you may not realize, 
however, is that the U.S. Coast Guard is also the seventh largest naval 
service in the world and operates with the second oldest fleet. Yes, 
that's right, our Coast Guard--the one that's saved over 90,000 lives 
since 1994, the one that set a record for cocaine seizures last year, 
and the same service that performed with dignity and courage under the 
pressure of numerous aviation accidents and natural disasters--operates 
with the second oldest fleet in the world.
  While operating with the second oldest fleet in the world, the U.S. 
Coast Guard was one of only two federal agencies to earn an ``A'' from 
the independent government performance project for operating with 
unusual efficiency and effectiveness. How was the Coast Guard able to 
achieve a grade of ``A'' that eluded 18 other federal agencies? The 
answer, at least according to the independent government performance 
project, is innovation resulting from constant budgetary and 
operational pressure.
  If the Coast Guard can get an ``A'' operating under these dire 
conditions, imagine what they could do with better equipment and well-
compensated people.
  Along these same lines, the Interagency Task Force on Coast Guard 
Roles and Missions recently reported that a healthy Coast Guard is 
vital to protect and promote many of our nation's important safety, 
economic and national security interests. The men and women of the 
Coast Guard--with a force smaller than the New York City Police 
Department--carry out these vital missions in this country's ports and 
waterways, along its 47,000 miles of coastline, lakes and rivers, on 
international waters or in any maritime region as required to support 
national security.
  As exhibited by this laundry list of assignments, the Coast Guard has 
been spread far too thin in recent years. A recent GAO report found 
that the Coast Guard has been assigned vastly increased 
responsibilities while shrinking its workforce by 10 percent and 
operating within a budget that has risen by only one percent in actual 
dollars. Mr. Speaker, the time has come for this Congress to stop 
expanding the scope of the Coast Guard's operations without providing 
them with the necessary resources. Despite the Coast Guard's 
outstanding performance record, asking them to continue to do more with 
less jeopardizes the Coast Guard's core duties--which are matters of 
life and death.
  The time has come for us to reward the hardworking men and women of 
the Coast Guard by providing them with the necessary equipment and 
resources that will allow them to continue their excellent service to 
this country well into the 21st Century.
  To the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard--thank you for your 
service to our country and for giving us the opportunity to

[[Page H6898]]

wish the Coast Guard a Happy 210th Birthday. We would not be here today 
without your dedication and sacrifice. Happy Birthday Coasties and 
Semper Paratus!
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I commend our committee chairman, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster), our subcommittee chairman, the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest), our ranking member on our side, the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio), on combining forces to salute the 
Coast Guard on its 210th anniversary.
  Our committee, arguably with the Committee on Ways and Means, is the 
oldest committee in the House of Representatives. We passed the very 
first legislation in the first Congress in 1789 to establish a 
lighthouse, the Cape Henry Lighthouse. Concurrently with that action, 
the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, approached the 
Congress to establish a service to enforce our tariff laws.
  The Congress responded with the authorization to construct 10 cutters 
needed to patrol the coast along the northern States and enforce our 
revenue laws. They had to be larger than any previously built. They had 
to be heavier for winter conditions. They had to be faster than 
anything we had had before, to collect tariffs on imported goods.
  Ironically, these ships ended up costing as much as $500 more than 
the $1,000 each appropriated. All of the ships were built, but it is 
not clear from historical records where Secretary Hamilton found the 
money to complete the task.
  With that action, the Revenue Cutter Service was established, the 
forerunner of what we know today as the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast 
Guard is an amalgamation of five Federal agencies that also have their 
origins at the beginning of our country. The Steamboat Inspection 
Service, the Bureau of Navigation, the Lifesaving Service, and a very 
special service, the Lighthouse Service. As I said, the very first 
action of our committee was to establish a lighthouse.
  The Coast Guard over the years has served our country in military 
conflict from the war with France in 1799 to actions today when they 
lead border parties to enforce the Naval blockade in Bosnia or Iraq or 
in World War II when they drove landing craft on to the beaches of 
Normandy or in Vietnam where they patrolled the rivers and bays to 
protect our soldiers.
  Over the years, the Congress, seeing a need to provide service to the 
American public and protection for water travelers, has authorized new 
and ever more far-reaching and more challenging missions for the Coast 
Guard: search and rescue; maintain thousands of aids to navigation; 
break ice in the Arctic and Antarctic; and on the Great Lakes and the 
East Coast: protect the environment, the cleaning up of oil spills and 
hazardous material spills; safeguard our ports by inspecting ships to 
ensure that they are safe when they are entering our ports; to manage 
the protection of our fishery stocks out to our 200-mile exclusive 
economic protection zone; and to protect our borders from drug 
smugglers and illegal immigrants.
  Every year the Coast Guard intercepts drugs and other illegal 
shipments destined for our shores, whose value is at least as great and 
in some years greater than the entire Coast Guard budget.
  I particularly pay tribute to those Coast Guardsmen and women of the 
Ninth District that covers over 296,000 square miles of the Great 
Lakes, spanning from Alexandria Bay in New York, to depending on your 
persective, either the western terminus or the western beginning point 
of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, Duluth, Minnesota. The 92 Coast Guard 
units that cover this area protect some and serve some 2.3 million 
recreational boaters. They keep the lanes and harbors open with 
icebreakers to ensure that the iron ore from my district gets down lake 
to the Lower Lake steel mills, and that small East Coast communities 
receive their winter heating oil.
  In the 1996/1997 winter season, icebreakers on the Great Lakes paved 
the way and broke ice for 16 million tons of iron ore, coal, stone and 
cement to be transported to Lower Lake ports and from the Lower Lakes 
to the Upper Lakes Region of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  The Coast Guard every year undertakes missions to save 5,000 lives 
and over 65,000 search and rescue missions. Every year, their actions 
protect over $1.5 billion in private and public property.
  There is an old saying in the Coast Guard, ``You have to go out but 
you do not have to come back.''

                              {time}  1915

  Every year that they go out, every day that they go out on mission, 
our Coast Guard men and women know that they may never come back to 
their families. They risk their lives, but they do so in a thorough, 
professional manner that is in the highest tradition of this Nation.
  They deserve this tribute and much more. They deserve to be fully 
funded and adequately funded. There was a year in the mid-1980s when, 
on another committee on which I served, the Committee on the Merchant 
Marine and Fisheries which had jurisdiction over the Coast Guard before 
it was transferred to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure, the Coast Guard budget had been pared back so far that 
we called it ``Semi Paratus,'' but resolved that never again should 
that happen.
  Mr. Speaker, when we take time as we do today to pay tribute to the 
men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard for the service they render all 
Americans, we shall always have a Coast Guard that is Semper Paratus.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, August 4 will mark the 210th anniversary of the U.S. 
Coast Guard. Since 1790, the men and women of the Coast Guard have 
demonstrated that they are always ready, Semper Paratus, to carry out 
their critical duties.
  Today's Coast Guard has primary responsibility for the promotion of 
safety of life and property at sea. That is easy to say and difficult 
to do, because there are days when the seas are calm and there are days 
when the seas are stormy. There are evenings when the stars are out, 
and the twilight is beautiful. And there are evenings when the storm 
rages, the icebreakers are out there, and the storm ensures that the 
hours the Coast Guard is on duty will be very, very dangerous.
  But, Mr. Speaker, they do their job in spite of all that. The Coast 
Guard is responsible for enforcing all Federal laws, at sea and under 
the sea, in all of the United States' waters and the United States' 
territories.
  They maintain the aids to navigation, which is something we almost 
never think of until we are in a boat and we do not want to run 
aground. As a result of that, as a result of the Coast Guard's 
professional, efficient, persistent adherence to those aids of 
navigation, the mariners, whether they are on the high seas, in our 
coastal waters, or in our rivers, they are safe.
  The protection of the marine environment, which is one of the major 
responsibilities exclusively designated to the U.S. Coast Guard. Under 
all circumstances, in all weather, in all seas, throughout the entire 
many thousands of miles of the U.S. coastline. And the U.S. citizens 
are protected from the vast array of problems surrounding pollution, 
including oil pollution from the vast array of oil tankers and cruise 
ships that navigate through our waters.
  Domestic and international icebreaking activities from the North Sea 
to the majestic Great Lakes, to the Arctic Circle, to the Antarctic 
Circle, and to the jewel of estuaries, the Chesapeake Bay. Those waters 
are protected. They are navigable in all weather to ensure that 
schoolchildren, if they live on an island like Smith Island in the 
Chesapeake, that they can get to school in spite of the ice. They might 
not be disappointed, but because of the Coast Guard they ensure that 
they get their education. Or to all the barges and the ships that 
travel throughout the Nation's waters, and especially in the Antarctic 
or the Arctic, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers are on duty 24 hours a 
day. Sometimes in the Antarctic, they are cutting through ice that is 
12 feet thick. It is a lonely duty. But the courageous Coast Guard 
people ensure that it is done.
  The safety and security of vessels, ports, waterways and facilities 
are all

[[Page H6899]]

ensured by the Coast Guard. And the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar) mentioned the fisheries out 200 miles, the exclusive economic 
zone as it is called, is constantly under siege by the foreign fishing 
vessel fleet. And who is out there to protect the economics and the 
marine ecosystem but the U.S. Coast Guard.
  As a military service and a branch of the Armed Forces, the Coast 
Guard also maintains a readiness to operate as a specialized service 
with the Navy upon the declaration of war, whenever the President 
directs. And we do not have to wait for a declaration of war. We know 
that there are very often illegal immigrants that go on tramp steamers, 
go on a number of vessels.
  Mr. Speaker, recently in the Caribbean I was on a Coast Guard cutter 
that was directed to intervene in any vessel that they thought there 
were illegal immigrants. In one incident, there was a, what we might 
call a tramp steamer, a merchant marine fishing vessel from an Asian 
country filled with over 50 illegal, hostile immigrants. A small group 
of Coast Guard people, led by an officer who was a professional young 
woman, boarded that tramp steamer, arrested those illegal immigrants 
without incident, and assured that they were taken into custody.
  The Coast Guard is a mighty fine outfit. And during all the wars that 
they were involved in, including Vietnam, and I was in Vietnam in the 
mid-1960s with the Marine Corps. And I have to say that the Marine 
Corps has a beautiful hymn. The gentleman from North Carolina said the 
Coast Guard, their song is a beautiful song, and it is. I would give a 
vote that the most beautiful song is the Marine Corps hymn, but the 
second most beautiful would be the Coast Guard hymn. But the Coast 
Guard served its Nation in Vietnam. And sometimes, yes, those young 
Coasties had barbecues on the back of those Coast Guard cutters in safe 
waters. But more often than not, the Coast Guard gave up those 
barbecues for dangerous patrols to protect American interests and the 
interests of the democratic process.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support House Concurrent 
Resolution 372 to honor the U.S. Coast Guard on its 210th anniversary.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Capuano), the author of the legislation.
  Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of House 
Concurrent Resolution 372, and I want to thank the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Chairman Shuster); the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar), our ranking member; for bringing this bill to the floor so 
quickly so we can have it done in time.
  I would also like to thank the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest), chairman of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and 
Maritime Transportation, and the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio), 
the ranking member, for their guidance and leadership on such a 
relatively important bill.I would also like to thank the gentleman from 
Guam (Mr. Underwood), the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Coble), 
the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones), the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Goss), and the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Callahan) for 
their support on this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, we have all heard the history of the Coast Guard and 
what it is all about and why we are here. But I want to just bring a 
little bit more of a personal note to it. A few years ago, my family 
and I were enjoying a nice summer day out in the Boston Harbor and we 
had the misfortune of stumbling across an inebriated recreational 
boater. In his disoriented state, he did not have the slightest idea 
what he was doing and he proceeded to ram the boat that contained my 
wife, my child, my brother-in-law and his wife, several times.
  Mr. Speaker, if it were not for the Coast Guard, I have no doubt that 
my family would have suffered serious injury. And if it were not for 
the Coast Guard's actions after the incident, I know that my family 
would have suffered more trauma than they deserved. They were there 
when we needed them. They were there after the incident to walk us 
through the process on how to prosecute this individual and what our 
rights and obligations were. They did it with a humane face.
  To me, that is what the Coast Guard really is. They do a thousand 
things a day that the average American never sees. But they do 10,000 
things a day that every average American, whoever steps 1 inch onto the 
oceans or the inland seas of this country, sees regularly.
  They save us and they protect us every day. Every year, they save 
over 5,000 lives. Every year, they save over a billion dollars worth of 
property. Every year, they are there to ensure our safety and security 
on the oceans and on the inland lakes.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say ``thank you'' for my family, for my 
constituents, and a happy birthday and a happy anniversary to the Coast 
Guard. It has had 210 years; may they have another 210-plus.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey).
  (Ms. WOOLSEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this 
House Concurrent Resolution 372, because I too am proud to recognize 
the 210 years and the 210th anniversary of the United States Coast 
Guard.
  Mr. Speaker, I have to tell my colleagues that I have confessed to 
Admiral Loy, the Commandant of our Coast Guard, that I have a crush on 
every man and woman in the Coast Guard. I so admire what they do and 
what they provide to our country and how well they do it and what a 
proud group of individuals that they are.
  I am especially supportive of this resolution because I have the only 
Coast Guard training center on the West Coast in my district, the Two 
Rock Coast Guard Training Center.
  We know firsthand what good neighbors Two Rock Coast Guard training 
center is, how much they participate in our community, what wonderful 
neighbors they are, and what an important role they play in protecting 
our country and making sure that people are safe and saved when they 
have accidents out in the waters.
  Mr. Speaker, through my time in this Congress, I have supported the 
efforts to modernize and maintain this important Two Rock Training 
Center. We have received strong community support in doing that because 
my community is proud that these Coasties live in our community, work 
in our community, and participate in our community and serve our Nation 
so well.
  I am proud that we are taking the time tonight to thank all of the 
members of the Coast Guard who have continued to dedicate their lives 
to making our country a safer and cleaner place. Let us continue our 
commitment to supporting the Coast Guard. Let us say happy birthday on 
their 210th anniversary, and I urge my colleagues to vote for H. Con. 
Res. 372.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Stupak).
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar) for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the United States Coast Guard and 
the men and women who serve in this great organization. The Coast Guard 
has a demanding mission which has evolved far beyond its roots as the 
Revenue Cutter Service when it was created 210 years ago.
  Today, the Coast Guard responsibilities cover many critical facets of 
American commerce and defense. We rely on the Coast Guard for maritime 
safety and mobility, law enforcement, and interdiction of drugs, 
environmental protection and response, and national defense.
  The Coast Guard, as many people do not probably recognize, is an 
esteemed leader in modern management techniques. Indeed, they offer an 
excellent management model for other Federal agencies to follow.
  Mr. Speaker, in my district which borders the Great Lakes, there are 
more than 1,500 miles of coastline in my Great Lakes district. I am 
pleased to have more than 500 Coast Guard personnel serving on 14 bases 
and ships in my district, such as the search and rescue helicopters in 
Traverse City or the Icebreaker Mackinaw docked at Cheboygan, just to 
name a few.

[[Page H6900]]

  The United States Coast Guard is a fine progressive organization, 
Semper Paratus, always ready, and we have never needed them more than 
we do today. I join my colleagues in wishing the Coast Guard happy 
210th birthday, and there will be many many more. We rely on them day 
and night.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Stupak) for that splendid statement and congratulate him on his close 
working relationship with the Coast Guard over many years.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. 
Gejdenson), the ranking member of the Committee on International 
Relations.

                              {time}  1930

  Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding. 
Let me say, ever since my wife was a sponsor of the Coast Guard ship in 
New London, she took a particular interest and responsibility for the 
Coast Guard.
  Several weeks ago, we went to see a new movie that a friend's wife 
was a producer, and Gail Katz helped produce The Perfect Storm. When 
she came away from that movie, my wife was furious that the people in 
the Coast Guard were asked to take such risks in such dangerous 
conditions, particularly they she thought sometimes when people did not 
use the best of judgment.
  So when we were at OpSail and had the privilege to be with the Coast 
Guard, head of the Coast Guard Academy, which is in New London, 
Connecticut, she expressed her concern. I think she was taken aback to 
a degree with the calmness that the head of the Coast Guard Academy 
responded by simply accepting the responsibility, no matter what the 
decisions of the yachtsmen or others that are out there that have put 
American Coast Guard personnel at risk, they are ready to take that 
responsibility.
  We in this Congress have put tremendous burdens on them with drug 
fighting, with controlling the flow of ships. A country cannot go to 
war when necessary without the Coast Guard operating in the ports of 
our Nation.
  We need to make sure we do more than just commend them. We need to 
make sure they have the resources to have the very best equipment and 
the best pay for the people who take these risks to really help America 
in all times.
  All our branches of the service are tremendously important to the 
country, but the Coast Guard is there every day of the year, every week 
of the year. Whether there is war or peace, they are out there taking 
risks. Whether it is for a pleasure boater who has found themselves in 
difficult conditions, a commercial fisherman who may be caught with bad 
equipment or a storm, interdicting drugs, protecting our shores, the 
Coast Guard takes tremendous risks.
  One of the great privileges I have is representing the Coast Guard 
Academy. I want to publicly thank them for what they have done, their 
participation in OpSail in New London. No one was prouder than the 
people of Eastern Connecticut when we saw in New York Harbor before 
they came to New London Harbor, the Eagle, the Coast Guard ship, 
followed by the Amistad, by the way, into New York Harbor.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for the time, and I urge 
support of the resolution.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, does the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest) have his speakers?
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, we have no more speakers.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Kucinich).
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar), ranking member, and the gentleman from 
Maryland (Chairman Gilchrest) for their work on this issue.
  The Coast Guard's ninth district has a substantial presence in 
Cleveland, Ohio; and they serve, of course, the Great Lakes. I want to 
tell my colleagues what a great job they do in our area providing for 
safety as well as for the movement of commerce, particularly during bad 
weather. When it is snowing, the icebreaker has become legendary for 
helping to keep the commerce of the lake moving.
  We rely on our Coast Guard in the greater Cleveland area, and all of 
Lake Erie is so grateful, all the cities along that lake were so 
grateful to have a Coast Guard which pays such careful attention to 
safety on the lake which has, in so many cases, saved people's lives 
and which enforces the laws which need to be enforced on our waterways.
  I want to join in the effort here to salute the Coast Guard and to 
let the Coast Guard know in that area how proud we are of the work that 
they do. They are such an important part of this country.
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
to make some concluding remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, another reason we, on the Great Lakes, have to celebrate 
this 210th anniversary of the Coast Guard is that, at long last, the 
Congress not only has, through our committee, provided the 
authorization but through the appropriation process provided the 
funding to build the first new replacement icebreaker for the Mackinaw, 
which has kept the lanes open, the shipping lanes in the winter months 
and in the early spring months to move the iron ore down lake and coal 
down lake as well as limestone and gravel and rock upstream.
  We desperately need a new icebreaker. The Coast Guard is now in the 
process of design and build. We are very grateful to see a replacement 
coming for the venerable Mackinaw that has provided such stellar 
service.
  I mentioned earlier that the Coast Guard is a very special service. 
The remarks of the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Gejdenson) about 
christening call to mind that my wife, Jean, had the privilege of 
christening the William J. Tate, a buoy tender built at the Marinette 
Marine Shipbuilding Company on the Great Lakes. Captain William J. Tate 
was a member of the U.S. Lighthouse Service and a man of action who is 
a pioneer in many ways. My wife was truly honored and thrilled to have 
christened the Tate and to be a part in our family of that very special 
tradition of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  In 1998, the Coast Guard seized $2.6 billion in illegal drugs 
attempting to enter this country. It is ironic to note that, in that 
year, the Coast Guard's operating budget was $2.8 billion. Every year 
we get more in our investment back from the U.S. Coast Guard.
  Finally, it was a very good friend of mine who was Commandant of the 
Ninth Coast Guard District and later Commandant of the U.S. Coast 
Guard, Admiral Jim Gracey, who said; ``It takes a very special person 
to wear this color blue, and we are all proud to wear it.'' We in the 
Congress are all proud that the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard 
day in and day out wear that color blue and serve our Nation so well.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, just to reiterate what the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Oberstar) said, we are also collectively, as a body, proud of the Coast 
Guard blue. I say to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar), my 
daughter, when she was 15, some years ago christened a class of buoy 
tender called the Busal with a bottle of champagne, and she smacked it 
and broke it on the first try. She was a little worried about it, but 
she went and did it. So I understand the sense of pride that his family 
has in taking part of that celebration.
  So, Mr. Speaker, we wish the Coast Guard Semper Paratus and happy 
birthday.
  Mr. THOMPSON of California. Mr. Speaker, on this, the occasion of the 
210th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard, it is fitting to 
acknowledge the outstanding contributions made to the residents of 
California's First Congressional District by Coast Guard Group Humboldt 
Bay. The sacrifices made over the years by these dedicated men and 
women are worthy of appreciation and recognition.
  The Humboldt Bay Group has a long history on California's North 
Coast. As early as 1854, D.M. Pearce was appointed the first Keeper of 
Humboldt Harbor. In 1856, the Battery Point Lighthouse became the first 
lighthouse on the North Coast, aiding sailors along what is one of the 
stormiest coastlines in the nation. At the height of maritime travel, 
six lighthouses operated along this stretch of coastline.
  Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay was commissioned on June 24, 
1977 as Air Station Arcata and redesignated Air Station Humboldt Bay in 
May 1982. Its commissioning completed a long process begun by local 
residents

[[Page H6901]]

and fishermen wanting a year-round aviation Search and Rescue (SAR) 
facility for Northern California. The Station is also home to modern 
Lighthouse Keepers, who maintain navigation aids and lighthouses from 
Crescent City to Point Arena.
  Group Humboldt Bay's area of responsibility extends from the 
Mendocino/Sonoma County line north to the California/Oregon border. Six 
units under the Groups' command patrol more than 250 miles of rugged, 
sparsely populated coastline. In carrying out its missions, Group 
Humboldt Bay's personnel operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 
days a year. They are ready to respond at a moment's notice to ocean 
emergencies, and they remain constantly vigilant in the fight against 
drug smuggling, illegal fishing, and illegal migration.
  It is an honor today, as the nation commemorates the 210th 
anniversary of the Coast Guard, to recognize and commend these 
dedicated men and women who selflessly serve and protect.
  Semper Paratus!
  Mr. UNDERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in emphatic support of H. 
Con. Res. 372. I want to thank my colleagues who helped make this 
resolution possible: My fellow co-sponsor Congressman Mike Caupuano as 
well as Congressmen Shuster and Gilchrest from the Transportation 
Committee, and the House Leadership for bringing this to the floor in 
expedited fashion.
  As a proud member of the Congressional Coast Guard Caucus, I am in 
awe of the U.S. Coast Guard and all the hard work that each and every 
member selflessly gives each day to our nation. The United States Coast 
Guard is this nation's oldest and its premier maritime agency. Indeed, 
this year we will celebrate the 210th anniversary of the creation of 
this August service.
  The history of the Service is historic and multifaceted. It is the 
amalgamation of five Federal agencies--the Revenue Cutter Service, the 
Lighthouse Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Bureau of 
Navigation, and the Lifesaving Service, which were originally 
independent agencies with overlapping authorities. They sometimes 
received new names, and they were all finally united under the umbrella 
of the Coast Guard. The multiple missions and responsibilities of the 
modern Service are directly tied to this diverse heritage and the 
magnificent achievements of all of these agencies.
  The Coast Guard, through its previous agencies, is the oldest 
continuous seagoing service and has fought in almost every war since 
the Constitution became the law of the land in 1789. The Coast Guard 
has traditionally performed two roles in wartime. The first has been to 
augment the Navy with men and cutters. The second has been to undertake 
special missions, for which peacetime experiences have prepared the 
Service with unique skills. Today the Coast Guard is engaged on many 
open sea patrols in the war on drugs throughout the vast oceans and 
seas of the world.
  The Coast Guard has been dedicated to protecting the environment for 
over 150 years. In 1822 the Congress created a timber reserve for the 
Navy and authorized the President to use whatever forces necessary to 
prevent the cutting of live-oak on public lands. The shallow-draft 
cutters were well-suited to this service and were used extensively. 
Today, the current framework for the Coast Guard's Marine Environmental 
Protection program is the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972.
  In 1973, the Coast Guard created a National Strike Force to combat 
oil spills. There are three teams, a Pacific unit based near San 
Francisco, a Gulf team at Mobile, Alabama, and an Atlantic Strike team 
stationed in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Since the creation of the 
force, the teams have been deployed worldwide to hundreds of potential 
and actual spill sites, bringing with them a vast array of 
sophisticated equipment.
  The 200-mile zone created by the Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act of 1976 quadrupled the offshore fishing area controlled by the 
United States. The Coast Guard has the responsibility of enforcing this 
law.

  The Coast Guard additionally has the major responsibility for 
conducting and coordinating Search and Rescue operations and licensing 
and regulating safety and commercial boating rules. This enormous task 
is performed day in and day out by the dedicated men and women of the 
Coast Guard.
  As you may be able to tell, the Coast Guard performs a complex but 
necessary array of missions that effect the very life blood of this 
nation in the areas of national defense, commerce, the environment, and 
lifesaving.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to particularly highlight one essential 
mission that the Coast Guard is performing right now in America's 
westernmost frontier--my home district on the island of Guam. During 
the past several years, Guam has experienced a significant influx of 
Chinese illegal immigrants. Chinese crime syndicates organize boatloads 
of indigent Chinese citizens to illegally enter the United States for 
an exorbitant fee of $8,000-$10,000 per person. After undergoing an 
arduous journey under fetid, unsanitary conditions, the Chinese reach 
Guam dehydrated, hungry, disease-ridden and sometimes beaten. Upon 
arrival, the smuggled Chinese become indentured servants as they 
attempt to pay their passage to America.
  Guam's geographic proximity and asylum acceptance regulations make it 
a prime target for Chinese crime syndicates. According to the INS in 
1998 about 900 illegal Chinese immigrants were apprehended by the Coast 
Guard, INS and local Guam officials. In 1999, approximately 700 had 
been apprehended and this year alone approximately 400 have been 
apprehended. The Coast Guard remains standing by as we speak, ever 
vigilant in their efforts to mitigate the influx of illegal migrants to 
Guam.
  Mr. Speaker, Chinese crime syndicates have exploited Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA) asylum regulations. Because Guam, through INA 
directives, has to accept asylum applications, Guam becomes a cheap and 
attractive location for shipment of smuggled Chinese.
  The Marianas section of the Coast Guard, stationed out in Guam has 
been tasked to interdict, when possible, these wretched Chinese vessels 
that are transporting these illegal migrants. The local command, which 
is currently undermanned and over extended, is doing the impossible 
under such circumstances.
  In recent months there has been much discussion the high level of 
OPSTEMPO and PERSTEMPO to describe the state of over-extension of 
manpower and the drain on resources within our military. Without a 
doubt, these discussions equally apply to the dedicated men and women 
of the Coast Guard.
  To sum up the U.S. Coast Guard's concerns, an increased level of 
activity in maritime safety, Exclusive Economic Zone monitoring, and 
illegal immigration apprehension on Guam are collectively creating 
tremendous operational burdens on the beleaguered men and women of the 
Coast Guard. Coupled with very real concerns over modernization and 
procurement, the U.S. Coast Guard is being forced to do more with 
less--the less, of course, being older and inadequate equipment--in 
order to complete their mission requirements.
  The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral James M. Loy is truly to 
be commended for his leadership and dedication to the men and women of 
the Coast Guard. Admiral Loy also needs to be praised for his vision in 
stewarding the Deepwater Project and explaining the vital importance of 
this modernization effort to both Congress and the Administration. To 
be sure, Congress and the Administration need to seriously review their 
national security priorities to find some additional resources for our 
beleaguered Coast Guard and relieve the high level of OPSTEMPO faced by 
these men and women. We are all very proud of the incredible work that 
the men and women of the Coast Guard do every day. With that Mr. 
Speaker, I urge swift and overwhelming passage of this resolution.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of House 
Concurrent Resolution 372, recognizing the 210th anniversary of the 
United States Coast Guard.
  Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Coast Guard is the premier maritime safety 
agency in the world. Its broad array of missions protect our coastlines 
and our communities. These missions include inspecting commercial 
vessels for compliance with all safety requirements; search and rescue; 
oil pollution prevention and response; maintaining all of the Federal 
aids-to-navigation on our navigable waterways; icebreaking in the 
Arctic, Antarctic, and domestic waterways; drug and migrant 
interdiction; and enforcing the fisheries laws in our 200 mile 
Exclusive Economic Zone.
  For 210 years, the Coast Guard has defended our Nation in wars and 
armed conflicts--whether protecting our ships from pirates in the 
1800's to landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. The men and 
women of the Coast Guard have driven their ships and aircraft through 
hurricanes to save mariners in distress, and directed the cleanup 
efforts of the disasters involving the Exxon Valdez and New Carissa.
  The people of the United States owe a debt of gratitude to the men 
and women of the Coast Guard. While most Americans sleep soundly in 
their beds, the members of the Coast Guard are risking their lives to 
save ours. The Coast Guard conducts over 65,000 search and rescue 
missions annually, saving more than 5,000 lives, and $1.4 billion in 
property. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate for the Congress of the 
United States, as representatives of

[[Page H6902]]

the people, to express our gratitude to the Coast Guard by passage of 
House Concurrent Resolution 372.
  Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to strongly support 
passage of House Concurrent Resolution 372, commemorating the 210th 
anniversary of the establishment of the United States Coast Guard.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hutchinson). The question is on the 
motion offered by the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest) that the 
House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. 
Res. 372.
  The question was taken.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

                          ____________________





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