House Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Pay Members of Coast Guard during Shutdown
Shutdown impacts over 41,000 active duty Coast Guard members performing missions and protecting coastal borders
Washington, DC- Today, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA), and Brian Mast (R-FL) introduced the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019 (H.R. 367), bipartisan legislation that would provide funding for the United States Coast Guard and ensure that active duty and reserve members of the Coast Guard are paid during the government shutdown. Members of the Coast Guard are the only members of the United States military not being paid for their critical and continuing operations.
The shutdown impacts over 41,000 active duty Coast Guard members, 6,200 reservists, and 8,500 civilian personnel. According to the Coast Guard, an estimated 31% of active duty Coast Guard members do not have enough money in an emergency savings fund to cover one month’s worth of expenses.
“The Coast Guard is always on duty, performing missions and monitoring our seas 24 hours a day to ensure that no distress call goes unheard. It is appalling that these brave service members, who are currently patrolling and protecting our coastal borders, would be forced to work without a paycheck. My legislation guarantees that members of the Coast Guard are paid on time and in full, even if the President chooses to continue this absurd government shutdown,” DeFazio said.
“It is shameful that the men and women of the Coast Guard are the only members of our military currently not getting paid. President Trump’s needless shutdown is forcing tens of thousands of Coast Guard service members to continue to work everyday while they must live and support their families without a paycheck. It’s time to pay all our service members while Washington works through this needless stalemate. Paying those who put their lives on the line protecting our coasts and waterways is the least we can do to support them. This is no permanent fix, however, and it goes without saying that we must fully fund the entire Department of Homeland Security. I thank Chairman DeFazio for sponsoring this legislation and for continuing to work together on ensuring the Coast Guard is working effectively,” said Thompson.
“Asking 42,000 active-duty Coast Guard service members to report for duty without pay is shameful. These men and women work every day to secure our border and keep our nation safe. The Coast Guard monitors roughly 93,571 miles more than the area included in the President’s proposed border wall, and Coast Guard service members seize 1,214 pounds of cocaine alone every day. Many Coast Guard officers are forced to live paycheck to paycheck, and it’s unforgivable to ask them to continue their work without compensation. That’s why I’m proud to stand with the men and women of the Coast Guard by introducing the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act. Let’s ensure that the men and women who protect our nation every day are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Garamendi.
The Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019, which mirrors a Senate companion bill, provides funding during any period during which interim or full-year appropriations for the Coast Guard are not in effect. The Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act provides for:
- Pay and allowances for active duty and reserve members of the Coast Guard;
- Pay and allowances for civilian employees of the Coast Guard;
- Pay and allowances for contractors of the Coast Guard;
- Payment of death gratuities with respect to members of the Coast Guard;
- Payment or reimbursement of authorized funeral travel and travel related to the dignified transfer of remains and unit memorial services with respect to members of the Coast Guard;
- Temporary continuation of a basic housing allowance for dependents of members of the Coast Guard dying while on active duty; and
- Coast Guard retired pay and benefits.
Next Article Previous Article