Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 07, 2013
In an effort to give the maritime industry an ongoing and consistent voice in the House of Representatives, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY) announced the formation of the first ever Congressional Maritime Caucus.
“From Alaska to Puerto Rico, Louisiana to New York, every day this industry facilitates trade and delivers energy resources that support millions of jobs and pays billions in state and federal taxes every year,” said Congressman Richmond. Representative Grimm continued, “I am honored to co-chair the Congressional Maritime Caucus with Rep. Richmond and look forward to working with him in support of issues that matter most to our nation’s maritime industry.”
The caucus will operate as a forum and information distribution center in the House of Representatives where members of Congress can turn for material on maritime issues, legislation, and initiatives. Congressmen Richmond and Grimm expect to welcome a host of representatives to the caucus who understand the importance of a strong U.S. Merchant Marine.
“The Congressional Maritime Caucus represents a huge step forward for the maritime industry giving us a unified and concentrated voice on Capitol Hill,” said Mike Jewell, President of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.). “This important initiative will work hand-in-glove with the grassroots Maritime Action Committees (MACs) that are already in place in numerous congressional districts across the country to spread the maritime message.”
The U.S.-flag maritime industry is integral to the economic and national security of the United States. The importance of having a highly skilled mariner base and critical number of ships that are ready and willing to deliver the cargo needed by the American troops overseas cannot be understated. It is the same maritime industry that reliably carries domestic goods up and down the inland rivers and along the coasts.
About the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association
The M.E.B.A., America’s oldest maritime labor union, supplies U.S. Coast Guard licensed deck and engineering officers in both the U.S. domestic and international trades. The Union was established in1875. Its members serve aboard tugs and barges, research vessels and in various capacities in the shoreside industries. In wartime, M.E.B.A. members have sailed in virtually unarmed merchant ships delivering critical defense cargo despite attacks from enemy aircrafts, submarines and warships. In times of peace, our members still face dangers such as piracy on the high seas in order to best serve their country.