June 28, 2015
Maritime Heritage Funding Bills Introduced in U.S. House and Senate—Action Needed
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced in the House on June 24 the Storis Act (H.R. 2876), the companion to the Senate bill (S. 1511, Storis Act) introduced June 4 by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was co-sponsor. It was referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The House bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Filomen Vela (D-TX). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Energy and the House Armed Services Committee.
Both versions of the Storis Act include Section 4 (c) (C), which will restore the maritime heritage grant program at the level of funding set in the National Maritime Heritage Act (1994). This is a major step forward and requires action by the maritime heritage community. We must contact members of Congress to secure more sponsors of the bills, and supporters in both House and Senate. This will ensure the bills will pass committees and be incorporated in a spending bill.
A draft letter is attached. Also attached is a list of committee members of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, and the House committees on Commerce and Energy, and Armed Services. Note the list of members of the three subcommittees assigned to act on the bills. We must contact those members.
Write to those on committees in your district and state. If your senators or representatives are not on the three committees, write anyway. You can urge them to become sponsors of the bills, or vote if a bill is on the floor.
Contact with members of Congress is critical. If possible, copy your e-letter to the appropriate staff member in the office. Please make the effort. Please send me copies of your letters.
Thanks for your support.
Tim Runyan Chair, National Maritime Alliance