Blumenthal, Murphy hail passage of Coast Guard Authorization Bill

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., applauded on Friday Senate passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Bill, including language that allows federal funding to support displays and exhibits — which would include, for example, structures inside the National Coast Guard Museum planned for downtown New London.

That support, however, would not extend to the bricks and mortar aspects of the estimated $100 million project.

A 2004 law prohibits the Coast Guard from using its federal funding to support the design and construction of the museum, and also limits the ability for the service to "support efforts to preserve and display artifacts from its 225-year history at the museum," the release said.

Blumenthal, Murphy and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, worked together on the new language.

"The Coast Guard has been critical to the safety and security of our nation for 225 years, and it is high time that the federal government do its part to advance and support the work that New London has done to build this important museum," Blumenthal said in a prepared statement.

In a prepared statement, Murphy said, "I'm grateful the Senate passed this important bill to correct outdated language barring the Coast Guard from supporting the museum constructed in its honor, and I'll be working hard on the Appropriations Committee to see it through to the finish line."

Earlier this year, Murphy and Blumenthal introduced the United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act that would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the United States Coast Guard and help raise funds for the museum.

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