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USCG Needs Deepwater Funding

"The budget provides the resources necessary to continue recapitalizing the Coast Guard's aging cutters, boats, aircraft and supporting infrastructure, while building out maritime safety and security capabilities essential to meeting present and future mission demands," said Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas Collins in testimony to the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cyber-security.

The reports have since been submitted, Collins said, and the Committee has acknowledged its satisfaction.

The Commandant said he is content with the administration's 2006 budget, which was increased to $8.15 billion over 2005's budget of $7.58 billion. Collins said that approximately 45 percent of its budget is spent on Homeland Security tasks, which includes protecting 360 commercial ports and U.S. coastline against illegal aliens, terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction.

Collin asked Congress for $5.4 billion over 10 years to protect the nation's ports, which is still being reviewed by the Committee. Congress has released only $560 million in port security funds thus far.