U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced the reintroduction of the Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act Wednesday, which would expand Coast Guard icebreaking efforts across the Great Lakes.
According to a news release from Baldwin's office, the bill would increase the USCG's annual icebreaking responsibilities in the Great Lakes area, including mandatory reports to Congress during the icebreaking season. The bill would also allocate $350 million for the construction of a new Great Lakes icebreaker vessel.
The bill is cosponsored by Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and has been endorsed by various commerce organizations across the Great Lakes area.
“Inadequate icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes is costing us thousands of American jobs and millions in business revenue. We must boost our icebreaking capacity in the Great Lakes to keep our maritime commerce moving,” Baldwin said in the release. “I’m proud to partner with Senators Young and Peters on this bipartisan effort that will move our region closer to getting the sufficient icebreaking resources needed to support our maritime industry, mitigate devastating climate-related events and protect our Great Lakes for generations to come. I will keep working with my colleagues to get this job done for Wisconsin businesses and workers.”