FEBRUARY 7, 2012 — 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.
The Caucus will work to raise awareness among members of Congress on a broad range of maritime-related topics.
"The maritime industry is the unsung hero of our nation's economy," said Rep. Richmond. "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. I also look forward to highlighting the role other industries play in supporting maritime commerce, be it in the fields of law, engineering, shipbuilding or insurance."
"The maritime industry is at the heart of New York City's economic vitality – from our thriving shipping industry to the Staten Island Ferry," said Rep. Grimm. "As the representative of Staten Island and Brooklyn, I am proud to have the New York Container Terminal in my district that employs hundreds of hard-working men and women. 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."
"I am confident that this Caucus will be a voice for the entire maritime industry, one that stresses how critical this industry is to sustaining our economic recovery. I'm proud to have Congressman Michael Grimm as a co-chair and I look forward to working with him to ensure that U.S. maritime policy meets the challenges of the 21st century," Rep Richmond concluded.
"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.
Among those welcoming the formation of the caucus is maritime union MEBA (Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association).
"The Congressional Maritime Caucus represents a huge step forward for the maritime industry giving us a unified and concentrated voice on Capitol Hill," said MEBA President Mike Jewell. "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."