Coast Guard: It's on the house

Matt Saintsing
January 18, 2019 - 12:32 pm

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi

The Coast Guard discovered three men who stowed away on a merchant ship on its way into Port Miami on Wednesday, as the sea service continues to protect the nation’s coastal borders even as a government shutdown drags on over none other than, border security. 

Two of the men are Guatemalan-nationals, while the other is from Honduras. The Coast Guard said in a statement that they were happy to issue, while charities and food banks are set up to help its members who are currently not being paid. 

The ship, the Diana J., took the stowaways in custody while conducting a pre-arrival search about 23 miles north of La Palma, Cuba. 

The irony of the ongoing partial shutdown is not lost on your friendly reporter, given that the Department of Homeland Security—which has control over the Coast Guard—is the agency charged with literally protecting the border, and is currently one of the departments not being funded during the shutdown. Because as we all know, the best way to protect the border is to make sure folks along the border and at sea aren't funded. 

Yes, those charged with, again, border security aren't being paid to protect the border over a disagreement about the border.  

But instead of working together on a possible solution to open the government and actually pay those protecting our border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Trump traded jabs as the shutdown is about to enter its fifth week, and is already the most extended government shutdown. Ever. 

On Wednesday, Pelosi not so subtly called for Trump to delay his State of the Union address initially slated for Jan. 29 until the government reopens. 

About 24-hours later, Trump responded by denying her use of military aircraft for her not previously disclosed trip to Brussels and Afghanistan, citing the government shutdown. 

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers and the Coast Guard missed their most recent paychecks, and it’s looking like they’ll be missing at least one more.  

So, what did Congress do about the tit-for-tat between the president and speaker of the house? Tow their respective party’s line, criticizing the other side. 

“By disinviting POTUS for SOTU, Pelosi erased any pretext for her unwillingness to negotiate an end to the shutdown. It is personal, petty, and vindictive,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) tweeted Thursday. 

In a move that will shock no one, Democratic lawmakers mostly applauded Pelosi for her courage to pull the trigger on Trump’s planned address to the nation. 

There’s no end in sight for the shutdown, and Congress could pass a bill to pay the Coast Guard (there’s, like, three of them, actually), but every side is digging in and doesn’t seem to want to budge. On anything. 

They can rest assured that the Coast Guard will continue to achieve their mission, as they did on Wednesday, without current pay. 

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