Order Code RS20924
Updated January 30, 2003
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Homeland Security: Coast Guard Legislation
in the 107th Congress
Martin R. Lee
Specialist in Environmental Policy
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
The 107th Congress approved a port security and Coast Guard FY2002-FY2003
authorization bill, P.L. 107-295 (S. 1214). It included elements of several earlier bills
addressing Coast Guard authorization, personnel, maritime improvement, and port
P.L. 107-20 (H.R. 2216), the FY2001 emergency supplemental appropriations bill,
increased FY2001 Coast Guard funding by $92 million. A terrorism FY2001
supplemental, P.L. 107-38, included $18 million for the recall of Coast Guard reservists.
For FY2002 funding, Congress approved P.L. 107-87, the DOT appropriations bill
which contains $5.03 billion for the Coast Guard. Congress also included in the
Emergency Terrorism Supplemental, P.L.107-118 (H.R. 3338, Division B) an additional
$209 million for Coast Guard activities following September 11. Another FY2002
supplemental, P.L.107-206 (H.R. 4775), increases current appropriations by $528
million. On July 26, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved S. 2808 (S.Rept.
107-224), providing for $6.1 billion in discretionary FY2003 budget authority for the
agency. On October 7, 2002, the House Appropriations Committee approved H.R. 5559
(H.Rept. 107-722), providing $6.1 billion. Under continuing resolutions, the Coast
Guard has been funded at FY2002 levels since October 1.
P.L. 107-296 (H.R. 5710) transfers the Coast Guard to the new Department of
The Coast Guard is a multi-function agency with a mission to protect people, the
environment, and U.S. economic interests in coastal and ocean waters. For a full
description of responsibilities, see [http://www.uscg.mil/services.html]. Increased duties
related to high seas illegal drug trafficking and immigration have added to the agency’s
obligations and increased the complexity of the issues it faces. Congress continues to be
concerned with how the agency is responding operationally to these new demands and
managing plans to replace many of its aging vessels and aircraft.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Coast Guard Authorization Legislation for FY2002
Congress generally authorizes the programs of the U.S. Coast Guard and
appropriates annually in the Department of Transportation bill.1 FY1999 was the last year
that programs were formally authorized by Congress. House-passed H.R. 3507 and
Senate-reported S. 951 were the main FY2002 reauthorization bills. On June 4, in passing
a port security bill, S. 1214, the House added the authorization language of House-passed
The House passed an authorization bill, H.R. 1699 June 7, 2001. It would have
authorized a total of $5.3 billion for all Coast Guard programs in six major accounts. The
House later passed H.R. 3507, which would have authorized Coast Guard programs at
$5.9 billion for FY2002, the same authorization levels adopted in S. 1214 on June 4 by
the House. A similar Senate bill, S. 951, would have authorize $5.2 billion, and was
reported October 31 by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
(S.Rept. 107-89). P.L. 107-295 (S. 1214)2 authorizes $5.9 billion in FY2002 and $6.0
billion in FY2003 for all Coast Guard programs.
Operations and Maintenance. H.R. 3507 and S. 1214 as passed by the House
would have authorized Coast Guard operation and maintenance activities at $4.2 billion
for FY2002—$623 million of this was authorized to be available for domestic maritime
homeland security. S. 951 would have authorized this account at $3.6 billion and does
not specify an allocation for domestic maritime security. P.L. 107-295 (S. 1214)
authorizes $4.2 billion for FY2002, including $623 million for Homeland Security
activities. For FY2003, $4.3 billion is authorized and there is no specific authorized
amount for Homeland Security.
Acquisition, Construction, Improvements. For Coast Guard acquisition
activities, construction and capital improvements, P.L. 107-295 (S. 1214) authorizes
$717.8 million, including $58.5 million, for FY2002 and $725 million for FY2004, levels
similar to those in House-passed H.R. 3507.
Other Portions of the Authorization. H.R. 3507 and S. 1214 authorize Coast Guard
research, testing, development and related activities at a $21.7 million for FY2002; S.
951, at $22 million. For mandatory retirement benefits, the authorized amount is $876
million under both House and Senate bills for FY2002. Under both bills, alteration of
bridges would be authorized at $16 million; for complying with environmental laws and
performing environmental restoration activities the levels are $17.0 million FY2002.
The House bill would increase the authorized number of active-duty personnel from
38,038 previously to 44,000 in FY2002. The Senate bill would set the level at 40,000. As
For a discussion of FY2002 appropriations, see CRS Report RL31308, Appropriations for
FY2003: Department of Transportation and Related Agencies.
In passing it, the House added the FY2002 authorization language of House-passed H.R. 3507.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved a seaport security bill, S. 2329, on May 17. Housepassed H.R. 1099 contains various personnel, maritime safety, advisory group, and miscellaneous
provisions. Another reported bill, H.R. 2481, the Omnibus Maritime Improvement Act of 2001
contains numerous provisions on Coast Guard operations and activities.
approved, S. 1214 did not specify authorizations for these categories, except for
authorizing 44,000 active duty personnel in FY2002 and 45,500 in FY2003.
Coast Guard Funding
The Coast Guard appropriation is constrained, and its management challenged, by
increased responsibilities for drug and illegal immigrant interdiction on the high seas as
well as by its aging water craft and aircraft. Enhanced responsibilities in the wake of
September 11th have greatly added to Coast Guard duties.
FY2002. The Administration requested $5.056 billion for Coast Guard funding in
FY2002. The House approved $5.03 billion (H.R. 2299; H.Rept. 107-108), $60 million
less than requested. The Senate approved $5.102 billion (H.R. 2299; H.Rept. 107-108,
amended by S. 1178, in the nature of a substitute). P.L. 107-87 (H.Rept. 107-308)
included $5.03 billion.
P.L. 107-20 (H.R. 2216), the FY2001 emergency supplemental bill, increased
FY2001 Coast Guard funding by $92 million. A terrorism FY2001 supplemental of
September 21, 2001, P.L. 107-38, included $18 million in additional FY2001 funds for
the recall of Coast Guard reservists. House-passed H.R. 3338, the Defense Appropriations
bill in Division B, the FY2002 Supplemental, would have increased the Coast Guard’s
operating appropriation by $144.9 million, funds directly in support of September 11related activities ; the Senate-reported substitute (S.Rept. 107-109) included $273 million.
On December 7, the Senate Committee substitute was ruled out of order by the Chair. The
same day the Senate passed the Byrd /Stevens/Inouye amendment to H.R. 3338, which
included $285.35 million for the Coast Guard in Division B, Transfers from the
Emergency Response Fund Pursuant to P.L. 107-38. The final version, P.L. 107-118,
included $209 million for Coast Guard terrorism-related activities. Another FY2002
supplemental, H.R. 4775, cleared for the President, would also increase current
appropriations by $528 million.
The requested $3.38 billion ($197.8 million, or 6% more than FY2001) would have
been allocated to operation and maintenance of a wide range of ships, boats, aircraft,
shore units, and aids to navigation. The House approved $3.38 billion; the Senate
approved $3.43 billion; and the conferees $3.38 billion. For acquisition, construction, and
improvement; the Administration sought $659.3 million; the House approved $600
million; the Senate approved $669.3 billion; and, the conferees $636.4 million. For
complying with environmental regulations and cleaning up contaminated sites, conferees
approved $16.9 million. $15.5 million was requested and approved for altering bridges
The $21.7 million approved by the House and Senate for research and development was
the same as the amount requested, and slightly more than the $20.2 million approved by
the conferees. The allocation approved for retirement pay will be $876.3 million, the
same as requested. The Administration requested, and conferees approved, $83.2 million
to train, support, and sustain a ready military Selected Reserve Force of 8,000 members
For FY2002 deepwater replacement, $338 million was requested; the final version
included $320 million. Actual purchases of nearly $10 billion are anticipated over a
20-year period beginning in FY2002. In approving the bill, Congress included legislative
language requiring a capital investment plan for the Coast Guard.
FY2003. The Administration requests discretionary budget authority of $5.9
billion for Coast Guard funding in FY2003. Compared to the $5.0 billion appropriated
in FY2002, the FY2003 request would be $862 million, or 17% more. Planned increases
of $733 million for operating expenses and $92 million for acquisitions account for most
of the proposed increase. On July 26, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved
S. 2808 (S.Rept. 107-224), providing for $6.1 billion for the agency; on October 7, the
House Appropriations Committee recommended $6.1 million in H.R. 5559 (H.Rept. 107722). Coast Guard programs are usually authorized every 2 years; see also CRS Report
RS21125, Homeland Security: Coast Guard Operations–Background and Issues for
Congress and CRS Report RS21079, Maritime Security: Overview of Issues, for
discussions of related issues.
The FY2003 budget request is intended to allow the Coast Guard to continue its
activities against drug smuggling and to recapitalize aircraft and vessel fleets while it
conducts accelerated Homeland Security activities. A requested $4.2 billion ($733.0
million, or 19%, more than FY2002) is for operation and maintenance of a wide range of
ships, boats, aircraft, shore units, and aids to navigation; the Senate Appropriations
Committee approved this amount. The House Committee recommended $4.3 billion.
This includes $340.0 million in defense-related funding. Another major component of the
request is allocated to acquisition, construction, and improvement. The Administration
sought and the Senate and House Appropriations Committees approved, $725.0 million,
$92. 0 million, or 14%, more than current year funding. For complying with
environmental regulations and cleaning up contaminated Coast Guard sites, the budget
sought, and the Appropriations Committees approved, $17.3 million. No funds are
requested for altering bridges; the Senate Committee approved $14 million and the House
Committee $17 million . The $23.1. million approved in the Senate action for research
and development would be slightly more than current year funding. The House
Committee recommended $21.0 million.
The chief current issue is how the Coast Guard is handling heightened security
responsibilities with its many other responsibilities such as search and rescue, and
enforcement of laws and treaties. About half of the planned $733 million increase for
operating activities is to be allocated among Homeland Security and these traditional
activities. Another prominent issue has been the Coast Guard’s management of a major
planned replacement of aging and outmoded high seas vessels and aircraft, with a special
emphasis on improving the Coast Guard’s capabilities on the high seas or in deep waters.
Only planning and analysis funds were included for FY1998 through FY2001. Key dates
include July 2001, when industry teams submitted their design and construction
proposals; and the second quarter of FY2002, when the Coast Guard will award the
contracts to begin the replacement program. For FY2003, $500 million is requested, a
$200 million or 63% increase over current year funding. Actual purchases of nearly $10
billion are anticipated over a 20-year period beginning in FY2002. CRS Report 98-830,
Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System: Background and Issues for Congress,
discusses the issues associated with the program.
Transferring the Coast Guard to a Department of Homeland
Senate Governmental Affairs-reported S. 2452 (S.Rept. 107-175) Section 102; the
Lieberman substitute to S. 2452, Section 131; and the Administration’s proposal, H.R.
5005 Section 402, reported July 19 by House Select Committee on Homeland Security
and passed July 26, would have transferred the agency to a new department and place it
under a border and transportation security undersecretary or directorate. P.L. 107-296
(H.R. 5710), similar to these earlier bills, was enacted in the last days of the 107th
Congress. (See also CRS Report RS21125, Homeland Security: Coast Guard
Operations–Background and Issues for Congress.)
Some Members of Congress and others were concerned that certain non-security
functions such as boating safety, search and rescue, and fishing regulation would receive
a low priority under a transfer. In making its legislative recommendations on H.R. 5005,
the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recommended that the Coast
Guard remain in DOT, a new Coast Guard Vice Commandant for Homeland Security be
created, and all core missions be performed at adequate levels. A Brookings Institute
study recommended that the Coast Guard be included in a scaled down Homeland
Security Department. In passing H.R. 5005, the House included the provisions to transfer
the Coast Guard.
P.L. 107-296 (H.R. 5710) requires in Sections 103(c) and 888(g) that the
Commandant of the Coast Guard report directly to the DHS Secretary. Section 888(b)
would transfer all Cost Guard authorities, functions, personnel, and assets. The
Administration’s proposal would have placed it under the proposed Border and
Transportation Security division, although that proposal included language that would
preserve the Coast Guard as a distinct entity in the new department and mandated that the
Coast Guard Commandant report directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recommended that the Coast
Guard remain in DOT, a new Coast Guard Vice Commandant for Homeland Security be
created, and all core missions be performed at adequate levels. Notwithstanding, the
Select Committee-reported and House-passed H.R. 5005 would have transferred the
Coast Guard in its entirety as a distinct entity to the proposed DHS, like the
Administration's plan. The Lieberman substitute to Senate bill (S. 2452), as approved by
the Committee on Governmental Affairs on July 25, 2002, would transfer the Coast
Guard to a Border and Transportation Security directorate of the proposed DHS. Like
H.R. 5005 and H.R. 5710, it would have required the Commandant to report directly to
the Secretary of Homeland Security (and not to the head of the directorate).
Similar to the language in the Lieberman Substitute, P.L. 107-296 (H.R. 5710)
defines in Section 888 the “non-homeland security” and “homeland security” missions
of the Coast Guard, and requires that its missions and functions remain intact after the
transfer. It further prohibits substantially or significantly reducing those missions or the
Agency’s capabilities to perform them.3 These provisions were also similar to the
Lieberman Substitute language as well as a provision directing certain research funds to
Under Section 888(e)(2), this requirement can be temporarily waived if the Secretary certifies
to Congress that a waiver is necessary.
the Coast Guard. H.R. 5710 would also require a feasibility analysis of accelerating the
Integrated Deepwater System program from the planned 20-year period to a 10-year
The 107th Congress acted on several pieces of legislation, elements of which were
included in the enacted version of S. 1214. These included House-passed H.R. 1099, the
Coast Guard Personnel and Maritime Safety Act of 2001. It includes several personnel
provisions in Title I, five provisions on maritime safety in Title II, provisions renewing
six advisory groups in Title III, and twelve miscellaneous provisions. Noteworthy among
the miscellaneous provisions is Section 420 requiring vessels to notify the Coast Guard
before entering the territorial sea, whereas they are currently required to notify before
approaching a port. Another bill, the Omnibus Maritime Improvement Act, H.R. 2481,
was reported (amended) October 16, 2001 by the Committee on Transportation (H.Rept.
107-243) and sequentially referred to the Committee on Armed Services. It included
certain housing and various safety provisions. The Senate Commerce Committee also
approved a seaport security bill, S. 2329, on May 17. (See CRS Report RS21079,
Maritime Security: Overview of Issues, for further discussion)
Key Policy Issues: New Pressures and the Coast Guard’s
At the same time that the Coast Guard has assumed significantly increased
responsibilities for border security and high seas enforcement, its deepwater-capable
cutters and aircraft are aging and increasingly inadequate. To address this, the Coast
Guard launched a major acquisition program called the Integrated Deepwater System
which would require an estimated $9.6 billion acquisition program over 20 years
beginning in FY2002. CRS Report 98-830, Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System:
Background and Issues for Congress, describes the state of the Coast Guard fleet, Coast
Guard’s plans and some of the issues associated with the deepwater program.
Everyday operations appear to challenge the agency now. To support current
operational demands, the Coast Guard has had to shift funds from other priorities. Longterm strategic planning and budgeting appears necessary in light of what the Commandant
calls the “new normalcy.” Key to the Coast Guard’s enhanced role in national security
will be how its functions, and is funded, in the nation’s new homeland security effort.
The provisions to transfer the Coast Guard to the proposed Department of Homeland
Security generated a key issue: how some non-security programs, such as search and
rescue would fare in a new department having security as a top mission. The StevensCollins Amendment to S. 2452 and H.R. 5710, as enacted, contained numerous provisions
to address this issue.