Summary: S.2829 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (06/29/2016)

Maritime Administration Authorization and Enhancement Act for Fiscal Year 2017

This bill reauthorizes the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) programs of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for FY2017.

DOT must direct the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to prescribe a policy and develop a program to prevent and respond to the sexual harassment and sexual assault of Academy cadets and other Academy personnel.

The bill codifies the legal status of National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) vessels. MARAD training ships which are part of the NDRF are public vessels. NDRF vessels shall remain ''vessels'' until they are delivered to a dismantling facility.

The Department of Defense (DOD), in conjunction with DOT, may extend the 20- and 25-year age restrictions for vessels in the maritime security fleet for up to 5 years, when the departments jointly determine that it would be in the national interest.

The bill increases from 40 to 50 the number of DOT non-competitive appointments of Merchant Marine Academy cadets with qualities of special value.

The Department of the Navy may use the services of an approved classification society to provide for the classification of certain high-speed vessels. (Currently, the American Bureau of Shipping a non-profit organization makes such classifications for government-owned vessels.)

DOT shall convene a working group to examine and assess the size of the pool of citizen mariners necessary to support the U.S. Flag Fleet in times of national emergency.

DOT shall establish a task force to analyze the impact of extreme weather events on the maritime environment.

MARAD shall review its workforce plans and policies.

The Department of Homeland Security shall make a prospective payment to DOD for medical treatment or care provided to members of the Coast Guard and their dependents at DOD facilities.

Polar Icebreaker Fleet Recapitalization Transparency Act

The bill directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to submit to Congress a detailed U.S. Federal polar icebreaker recapitalization plan to meet the 2013 Department of Homeland Security Mission Need Statement.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Act

This bill requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop policies on the prevention of and response to sexual harassment or assaults involving its employees, NOAA's commissioned officer corps, and individuals who work with or conduct business on behalf of NOAA. Those policies must include procedures for reporting incidents, including those occurring after-hours, at sea, or in remote locations.

The bill establishes protections for victims, including through a change of duty station of an alleged perpetrator.

The bill revises and reauthorizes through FY2020 the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998.