Today, Senator Murray toured the Kvichak Marine and took part in the launching of a new 43' Coast Guard response boat. Kvichak is competing for a 200-vessel Coast Guard contract, and the boat launched today will be tested by the Coast Guard.

Senator Murray's Remarks:

I'm delighted to be here today to tour the Kvichak facility, to get a look at your innovative boats, and to meet the people who make them. The Response Boat we're launching today was built in partnership with Marinette Marine Industries of Wisconsin. This new partnership is already producing great results, and I'm proud to welcome our guests from Wisconsin to Seattle today.

Kvichak is an important part of Washington's maritime industry. In Washington state, we have a proud tradition of boat-building. We've built the fishing fleet for the North Pacific, and we build the best ferry boats in America. Today, Washington's maritime manufacturing industry is diversifying in exciting new directions from pleasure yachts to boats for national security and homeland security missions. As companies like Kvichak diversify and grow, it means good family-wage jobs for our citizens and economic growth for our state.

This boat behind us is a great example of the jobs and economic growth that this industry is producing right now. It's a symbol of new opportunities for our maritime industry.

I'm proud to support your efforts in the Senate. More than a year ago, Kvichak and I started talking about the Coast Guard's Response Boat Medium project. It's a huge contract for at least 180 boats, and it's worth about $200 million. At the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I worked with the Coast Guard to make sure it had the resources to move forward with this contract. Because this program is fully funded, the Coast Guard has enough money to award the contract and start production.

I'm confident that the Coast Guard's tests will prove what we all know – that you've built a great boat. I know many of you have put your heart and soul into building this boat. You're getting ready to hand it off to the Coast Guard for rigorous testing. Over the next few months, your boat will compete against two other boats from Louisiana. We expect the Coast Guard to select a winner sometime in the Spring or Summer.

We can't prejudge the Coast Guard, but I know that winning the contract would be great news for Kvichak and Washington state. It will create new jobs, and that's something we need here in Washington state. It will show the Coast Guard our impressive marine manufacturing capabilities, and I hope it will open the door to future projects and more new jobs here in Washington state.

Congratulations to Kvichak marine and all of your employees and suppliers. We know you are sending the Coast Guard a remarkable boat, and I'm proud to support your work in the United States Senate.