Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) today announced that they have helped secure $17 million for the Coast Guard’s Research and Development (R&D) Center in New London. The funding is included in the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. Senators Dodd and Lieberman, upon seeing that the Administration’s proposed 2007 budget included only $13 million for the facility, sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security to request full funding. The committee approved the bill on Tuesday.
“The Coast Guard has navigated natural disasters and terrorist threats. They shouldn’t have to weather funding shortages,” said Dodd. “Now more than ever we need to ensure that the Coast Guard has the resources to protect our nation. This assistance is a step in the right direction.”
“This is a real victory for the men and women of the Coast Guard who contribute so much to the safety and protection of American waterways. Full funding of the Center will allow the Guard to continue the research that enables it to respond so well to disasters like Katrina,” said Lieberman.
The Homeland Security Appropriations Bill also included $2 million for the ongoing renovations to the Coast Guard Academy’s Chase Hall dormitory.
Since 1972, the Coast Guard has maintained a strong R&D program, autonomous from its supervising federal agency. A recent independent study conducted by the Potomac Institute concluded that keeping the R&D facility autonomous within the Department of Homeland Security is essential to the expanding missions of the Coast Guard and to the personnel who rely on cutting-edge technologies to best serve their country. The Coast Guard R&D Center in New London is the only such facility in the country.