Coast Guard

Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Blumenthal Wants Coast Guard Paid During Federal Shutdown

January 02, 2019 - 10:09 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – With the federal government shutdown in its second week, hundreds of thousands of federal workers are now either furloughed or not getting paid, that includes members of the Coast Guard.

In a call with WCBS 880 this week, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said just because the Coast Guard is funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and not the Department of Defense like other military agencies, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be funded during the shutdown.

Blumenthal says the Coast Guard is just as important as other military services because it deploys thousands of service members into harm's way every day.

“The Coast Guard interdicts drugs, protects our shores, helps sailors and others who are in peril at sea,” the senator said. “But it also deploys around the world in support of military forces there in support of our national security.”

President Trump agrees; he reportedly told staff last week that he wanted to come up with a solution to get the Coast Guard paid during the shutdown.

Blumenthal says he’s proposing a bill when Congress returns this week that would allow members of the Coast Guard to receive their pay as the shutdown continues. 

Meanwhile, House Democrats are set to propose legislation Thursday to get the government back open without the border wall.

Blumenthal says border security can happen without the wall sought by President Donald Trump.

“More of the kind of reinforced fencing that all of us, Democrats and Republicans alike, strongly support, so there’s clear common ground,” Blumenthal said. “But the president is wedded to this idea of the wall, which in fact, as John Kelly said over the weekend, the administration abandoned long ago as a practical and effective solution.”