Like getting their homework assignment in on time, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved their budget views and estimates report last week ahead of the deadline. The report, submitted to the House Committee on the Budget, lays out their plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and identifies priorities within the committee’s jurisdiction, which include the U.S. Coast Guard, maritime vessels and transportation, ports, and inland waterways.
The document shows that members want to support infrastructure that creates jobs and increases economic growth. Additionally, the report lists the committee’s reauthorization plans for this Congress, including that of the U.S. Coast Guard at “levels sufficient to maintain currently planned operations.” This includes conducting missions in the Arctic; acquiring new vessels to ensure there are sufficient resources and technology for maritime border protection, search and rescue, and fisheries law enforcement; and recapitalizing to address Arctic icebreaking capabilities, an ongoing issue of concern. Other reauthorization priorities include the Water Resources Development Act (which will address activities of the Army Corps of Engineers, such as maintenance of ports and inland waterways and flood damage reduction), federal surface transportation programs (which include ports), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (which deals with preparing, preventing, mitigating, responding, and recovering from natural and anthropogenic disasters). As the budget process moves forward, other committees are expected to continue submitting their view and estimates for FY 2018.