Funded for now, Coast Guard families are relieved

Julia LeDoux
January 28, 2019 - 4:08 pm

Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi

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Coast Guard families are breathing a sigh of relief that the federal government has at least temporarily re-opened following its longest shutdown to date.

President Donald Trump signed a bill Jan. 25 that reopened the government for three weeks, until Feb. 15. The short-term deal did not provide funding for the president’s wall on the southern border, but will provide some much needed help to members of the Coast Guard and their families.

“It’s such a relief,” said Coast Guard spouse Stephanie Lisle. “We’re cautiously optimistic right now. For the next three weeks, we’re going to be very financially careful.”

While the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy continued to be paid during the shutdown, the Coast Guard did not. The sea service is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which was one of the agencies not funded during the 35-day shutdown that began Dec. 22. Active duty Coast Guardsmen and their families missed their Jan. 15 paychecks.  In a letter, Coast Guard Vice Commandant Charles W. Ray wrote that he is hopeful all missing pay will be in bank accounts by Jan. 31.

“We recognize that missing pay checks and the overall uncertainty during the lapse in appropriations resulted in hardship and concern for our military and civilian workforce,” Ray wrote. “It is our top priority to ensure that all pay is available as soon as possible.”

In a Facebook post Jan. 25, the United States Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Association president Jon Ostrowski cautioned that the fight to ensure that the Coast Guard is funded despite a government shutdown is not over.

“For the next three weeks, I will continue to fight for the passage of S21 or HR 367 to ensure the coast Guard’s budget is protected should we have another government shutdown,” he wrote. “Your support in this effort is still needed and valuable. You can expect to see calls to action demanding the foremetioned bills become law."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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