US lawmakers push for new Great Lakes icebreaker

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Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin have joined eight other senators in advocating for a new Great Lakes icebreaker by signing a letter sent to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz. The move comes in the wake of new research released by the Lake Carriers Association which shows that more than $1 billion in revenues was sacrificed last winter due to delays resulting from inadequate icebreaking. Congress has provided $10 million to design and begin the procurement of a vessel at least as capable as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw and has requested funding for such a purchase be included in the 2021 fiscal year. An icebreaker of such scale is expected to cost between $200 million and $250 million.

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