Kaptur Secures $350M for Great Lakes Heavy Icebreaker in Reconciliation Proposal

September 15, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force, released the following statement after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a nearly $60 billion reconciliation bill that included her request for $350 million in funding for a state-of-the-art Great Lakes heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s bill will now be taken up by the full House for its consideration as part of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal.

In July, Rep. Kaptur led a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting the funding necessary for the acquisition, design, and construction of a heavy icebreaker for the Great Lakes. If passed as part of the full reconciliation bill, the addition of a new heavy icebreaker will double the Coast Guard’s capacity to clear Great Lakes shipping lanes of ice. Currently, the Coast Guard’s Great Lakes District commands only one heavy icebreaker – the USCGC Mackinaw – for its service area of all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“Our nation’s defensive capabilities, manufacturing industries, and economic vitality depend on the ability of vessels to reliably, safely, and efficiently navigate the more than 2,000 miles of shipping lanes of the Great Lakes region,” said Rep. Kaptur. “This substantial new federal investment will support the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely upon these waterways, and ensure our communities are able to continue serving as America’s industrial workhorses. We thank Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio for his leadership to address the needs of the Great Lakes, and look forward to working with our House and Senate colleagues to urge passage of this critical priority.”

The House Great Lakes Task Force letter signed by Co-Chairs Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), and Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) can be found here. Information on the $350 million in funding in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s bill can be found here. 

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For more information, contact Chris Dalton at Chris.Dalton@mail.house.gov or (202) 897-7438.