Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson and Brian Mast

This week, the U.S. Senate passed the “Coast Guard Authorization Act” with the support of both of Florida’s two senators. 

The Senate passed the bill on a 94 to 6 vote with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., backing the legislation. 

The bill authorizes around $10.6 billion for the Coast Guard, increasing its budget by 16 percent. The legislation also includes an agreement on Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) which will have the EPA create ballast water and other vessel discharge standards while ensuring no states can have stricter standards than EPA guidelines. 

Nelson helped write the bill and took to the Senate floor on Tuesday . 

“This is a good bill and one we can be proud of,”  Nelson said. “Passing it will ensure the Coast Guard has the tools it needs to continue to carry out its many important missions, including its maritime rescue, disaster response and drug interdiction roles so many Americans have come to depend on.”

Nelson also praised the Coast Guard for its work in Florida in recent weeks. 

“Just last month I saw firsthand the Coast Guard’s efforts in protecting life

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