H.R. 1747: Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement Act

H.R. 1747

Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement Act

April 27, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

H.R. 1747 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) on March 26, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1747 would authorize the appropriation of $153 million to construct an icebreaker ship for the Coast Guard to use on the Great Lakes.


According to the bill's findings, five of the Coast Guard's Great Lakes icebreakers are nearing the end of their useful service and two other Coast Guard icebreaking assets have experienced difficulty in heavy ice conditions. During the spring of 2008, American vessels operating on the Great Lakes suffered more than $1.3 million in damages to their hulls due to ice on the Great Lakes.

Ice starts to form on the Great Lakes in December and usually remains until April. During these months, more than 20 percent of the iron ore needed for the nation's manufacturing is carried by vessels on the Great Lakes. Additionally, during the 2006-2007 season, over 6 million tons of coal was shipped on the Great Lakes to supply the region with electricity.



The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 1747 would cost $135 million over a five year period.