CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.Res. 339 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, April 22, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) on April 21, 2009, and referred to the Committee on Armed Services, which took no official action.
H.Res. 339 would express the sense that the House of Representatives:
According to the resolution's findings, the Maersk Alabama, a U.S. flagged ship carrying relief aid to Kenya and Somalia, was hijacked by Somali pirates on April 8, 2009. During the attack, the crew of the Maersk Alabama overpowered one of the pirates and ship's commander, Captain Richard Phillips, offered himself in return for the liberation of his ship and crew. Captain Phillips was then held at gunpoint by four Somali pirates in an 18-foot lifeboat while the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Bainbridge arrived on the scene. The Bainbridge was supported by the USS Boxer and the USS Halyburton, which stood by to keep the pirates from making an escape and to provide any necessary medical support. After five days of being held in captivity at gunpoint by the pirates, Captain Phillips was safely rescued by U.S. Navy SEALs. The attack was the first pirate-related assault on a U.S. flagged in modern American history.