The legislation passed by Congress includes provisions Blumenthal authored to support the Coast Guard museum, improve inclusion and diversity within the Coast Guard & improve standards aboard cruise ships
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 with several provision he championed to support the Coast Guard and improve health and safety standards aboard cruise ships. The U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation earlier this week and it now awaits the president’s signature.
“This major investment in the Coast Guard—which has called Connecticut home for more than two centuries—is a major investment in our great state,” Blumenthal said. “This bill invests significantly in the Coast Guard’s current operations, but also looks ahead to strengthen the Coast Guard of the future by making it more diverse and inclusive.”
“I have fought for the Coast Guard Museum in New London for years, and I am proud that with this bill, we are closer than ever to making it a reality.”
“The significant and long-overdue cruise ship health and safety standard improvements included in this bill will make our seas safer for passengers and crew alike. This legislation is a win for Connecticut and for our nation.”
The bill authorizes funding for critical Coast Guard operations through the next year at a total of $23 billion over two fiscal years. This represents a significant increase from the last two-year authorization bill—ensuring increased resources for Coast Guard operations in New London, Connecticut.
Blumenthal secured the inclusion of several specific provisions in the bill including:
Blumenthal authored and secured language in the bill that would specifically identify “diversity and inclusion” as the responsibility of the Coast Guard Academy Board of Visitors. Blumenthal also advocated for the inclusion of language establishing an Advisory Board on Women at the Coast Guard Academy to provide female cadets with leadership training and mentorship early in their careers.
The bill also includes Blumenthal’s language to clarify that vessels must have video surveillance equipment in all passenger common areas, and other areas, where there is no expectation of privacy to deter, prevent, and record criminal behavior aboard ships. The bill also allows individuals to access to video surveillance records for civil action purposes, mandates that all video records are kept for at least 20 days after video footage is obtained, and directs the Coast Guard to promulgate final standards within one year detailing requirements for the retention of video surveillance records.