Courtesy Photo U.S. Coast Guard District 7

Coasties don't get paid; DHS Sec. working to change that

January 15, 2019 - 2:53 pm

Today, Jan. 15, the 25th day of the longest government shutdown in history, 42,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard defending the coast of our country did not get paid.

And yet they continue to work.

This is the first time ever that members of the U.S. military have not been paid for their work.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson tweeted that she's trying to change that:

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz took to Twitter to sympathize with his troops:

The Coast Guard, which falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security, is considered essential personnel, but there is no funding to pay them.  DHS had enough in its 2018 coffers to pay them through December 31st, but as this is the middle of the January, there is no money to pay the service members who patrol our coast.  All other branches of the military fall under the Department of Defense, which continues to be funded despite the shutdown.

A bipartisan bill was introduced earlier this month to provide emergency funding for the Coast Guard but without success.

Admiral Schultz sent a letter to all Coast Guard members this morning, acknowledging the stress of working without a paycheck  He also announced that USAA donated $15 million to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) to support Coasties in need.  The American Red Cross will help assist in the distribution of these funds to both military and civilian workers who may need assistance.

"You have proven time and again the ability to rise above adversity,"  Admiral Schultz ends out his letter telling Guardsmen, "you are not, and will not, be forgotten."

READ: Coast Guard Academy and universities are offering aid to Coast Guard affected by shutdown

READ: How you can help Coast Guard families who aren't getting paid

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