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110th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 110-324
RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF AMERICA'S WATERWAY WATCH PROGRAM
September 14, 2007.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be
Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H. Res. 549]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom
was referred the resolution (H. Res. 549) recognizing the
importance of America's Waterway Watch program, and for other
purposes, having considered the same report favorably thereon
without amendment and recommend that the resolution be agreed
PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION
H. Res. 549 recognizes the importance of the America's
Waterway Watch program.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The America's Waterway Watch program was developed by the
United States Coast Guard to encourage ordinary residents to
assist in enhancing the security of tunnels, bridges, ports,
ships, military bases, coasts, and other water-related
resources. The program, similar to the well known Neighborhood
Watch program, focuses on marine-related areas and compliments
existing waterfront watch programs.
The United States has more than 290,000 square miles of
water and more than 95,000 miles of shoreline. At any time,
terrorists have the ability to target coastlines, rivers,
ships, tunnels, bridges, ports, waterside industries, and
military bases. The Coast Guard and local first responders are
charged with protecting these areas, but given limited
resources, cannot do it alone.
Through the America's Waterway Watch program, the Coast
Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components conduct outreach
efforts to people who live, work, or play around America's
waterfront areas. These efforts include outreach to fishermen,
marina operators, longshoremen, tow boat crews, pilots, beach
goers, waterfront homeowners, and over 70 million recreational
boaters. The program gives people specific examples of where to
look, what to look for, and what to do if a suspicious activity
Millions of brochures, wallet cards, and posters have been
distributed to recreational boaters, marine dealers, marinas,
and other businesses located near our waterways. The
educational material encourages participants to report
suspicious activities to the Coast Guard and other law
enforcement agencies by calling 911 or 877-24WATCH. This
centralized national phone number is manned 24 hours a day; 7
days a week.
In 2003, a potential terrorist incident was thwarted when a
merchant mariner, who was aware of the America's Waterway Watch
program, called the hotline because he observed suspicious
activity. Sayed Abdul Malike, a suspected terrorist with known
connections to Al Qaeda, asked Captain John Martin unusual
questions and took pictures as the boat transited under Miami,
Florida's I-95 bridge. Captain Martin's call led to the
investigation of Malike and his eventual apprehension in
Brooklyn, New York, the same year.
The program acts as a force multiplier for the Coast Guard
and local law enforcement and gives normal citizens the ability
to act as the eyes and ears of out waterways in a way that is
both meaningful and productive. It is an excellent way for
citizens to contribute to America's homeland security.
SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION
H. Res. 549 recognizes the importance of the Coast Guard's
America's Waterway Watch program. The program is a maritime
security public outreach effort that encourages 70 million
recreational boaters and others who live, work, or play around
America's waterways to have a heightened sense of awareness and
report suspicious or unusual activities in the maritime domain
to the Coast Guard National Response Center or other law
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION
On July 16, 2007, Representative Bilirakis introduced House
On August 2, 2007, the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure met in open session and ordered H. Res. 549
reported favorably to the House by voice vote.
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives
requires each committee report to include the total number of
votes cast for and against on each record vote on a motion to
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter,
and the names of those members voting for and against. There
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H.
Res. 549 reported. A motion to order H. Res. 549 reported
favorably to the House was agreed to by voice vote with a
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are
reflected in this report.
COST OF LEGISLATION
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(d)(2) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 549
is a resolution of the House of Representatives and therefore
does not have the force of law. As such, there is no cost
associated with this resolution for fiscal year 2007, or for
any fiscal year thereafter.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee
advises that the resolution contains no measure that authorizes
funding, so no comparison of the total estimated funding level
for the relevant programs to the appropriate levels under
current law is required.
2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance and
objectives for any measure that authorizes funding is required.
3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that
authorizes funding. Neither a cost estimate nor comparison for
any measure that authorizes funding is required.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI
Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House
of Representatives, H. Res. 549 does not contain any
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI
of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
With respect to (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, H. Res. 549 is a resolution of the
House of Representatives and therefore does not have the force
of law. As such, clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII does not apply.
FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT
H. Res. 549 contains no Federal mandates.
Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local,
or tribal law. The Committee states that H. Res. 549 does not
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this
APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Committee finds that the resolution does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
H. Res. 549 makes no changes in existing law.