Assessment of Fiscal Yr 2024 Finances Request for Federal Maritime Transportation Packages, and Implementation of the Ocean Delivery Reform Act of 2022

The Honorable Daniel B. Maffei, Chairman, United States Federal Maritime Fee | Written Testimony

Opening remarks, as ready, of Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Webster (R-FL) from right this moment’s listening to entitled, “Assessment of Fiscal Yr 2024 Finances Request for Federal Maritime Transportation Packages, and Implementation of the Ocean Delivery Reform Act of 2022”:

As we speak, we convene to evaluation the fiscal 12 months 2024 finances requests for federal maritime transportation applications administered by the Maritime Administration, the Federal Maritime Fee, and the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I’d prefer to welcome our witnesses – Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, Administrator of the Maritime Administration, and the Honorable Dan Maffei, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Fee.

MARAD serves because the company throughout the Division of Transportation answerable for selling the U.S. Service provider Marine and the home maritime trade. On this pursuit, they’re answerable for the administration of applications that serve to strengthen nationwide safety and guarantee a extra environment friendly maritime transportation system.

This subcommittee shares jurisdiction of MARAD with the Home Armed Companies Committee, with us overseeing the non-national safety points of the service provider marine. This contains the Port Infrastructure Growth Program, often known as PIDP, that gives grants for coastal seaports, inland river ports, and Nice Lakes ports infrastructure to enhance the protection, effectivity, and reliability of the motion of products.

The President’s finances request for FY24 contains $230 million for this program, which is along with the $450 million in superior appropriations this system acquired by way of the Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act.

Although this program is meant to assist optimize and enhance port operations, I’m involved with this system’s skill to totally understand this purpose attributable to language Congress has routinely included in this system’s authorization that prohibits the usage of funds for automated cargo dealing with tools. I’m additionally involved that MARAD has included this coverage within the discover of funding alternative for the US Marine Freeway Grant Program, which has no legislative requirement specifying this prohibition.  

It’s unlucky that we now have drastically restricted the impression these applications can have attributable to this coverage, and I look ahead to listening to from MARAD on the position automation performs in bettering port operations and our Nation’s provide chains.

Moreover, MARAD oversees the allowing course of for deep water ports, its sole allowing program. Present candidates have skilled very lengthy delays within the processing of their purposes and actually, all 5 pending purposes are stalled attributable to MARAD’s convoluted course of. I hope that we will work with MARAD to make sure that these purposes are processed in a well timed vogue as is directed underneath legislation.

We even have FMC right here with us right this moment to debate the work being accomplished to implement provisions from the Ocean Delivery Reform Act of 2022, often known as OSRA. FMC is an unbiased company answerable for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation within the international commerce of the U.S.

The provision chain disaster that emerged following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to large will increase in ocean delivery prices, lengthy cargo wait instances at ports, and an imbalance in maritime commerce flows resulting in the frequent export of empty containers from the U.S. slightly than transferring inland to be crammed with domestically produced items. Congress in response handed the Ocean Delivery Reform Act of 2022 to assist tackle many of those challenges going through U.S. exporters.

I applaud FMC for working expeditiously to implement the various provisions included on this legislation, in contrast to the US Coast Guard that always fails to hold out the legislative directives of this Subcommittee. I look ahead to listening to from Chairman Maffei right this moment on FMC’s progress in implementing OSRA.

Lastly, I want to notice that although they don’t seem to be right here in particular person to testify, we additionally acquired written testimony from the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration relating to their marine particles applications. NOAA is answerable for offering help to grease spill response and marine particles prevention, removing, analysis, response coordination, monitoring, and detection.

I thank NOAA for offering us their written testimony and I thank our witnesses for being right here right this moment. I look ahead to listening to their testimony.

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