Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) blasted the U.S. Coast Guard’s announcement that it will not award Panama City’s Eastern Shipbuilding with the second phase of its Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, which is for up to 11 cutters. 
 
“Today’s decision is short-sighted,” Rubio said. “When I visited Eastern Shipbuilding last year, I saw firsthand their commitment to building reliable, state-of-the-art ships. They have proven they can do the job and do it well. This decision will cost taxpayers more money and slow down the delivery of these critical vessels.”  
 
The Coast Guard awarded the first OPC contract to Eastern in 2016. After Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc on Northwest Florida in 2019, Rubio led the effort to ensure the program stayed on track. In July 2021, Rubio toured the facility and received an update on the U.S. Coast Guard’s OPC program. 
 
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