BoatUS is supporting bipartisan legislation that would restore pay to more than 40,000 active duty Coast Guard service members during the government shutdown.
The “Pay Our Coast Guard Act” (Senate bill S. 21) was introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and a companion bill, “Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019” (H.R. 367) was drafted in the House of Representatives by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).
In a Jan. 15 letter to Thune and DeFazio, Chris Edmonston, vice president of BoatUS government affairs, wrote: “While we understand the current debate over funding of the Department of Homeland Security is primarily about issues not directly related to the U.S. Coast Guard, we are concerned over the potential deterioration of its ability to fulfill its wide range of missions, including search and rescue, boating safety regulation and support for aids to navigation. We support your effort to ensure that USCG personnel will receive compensation notwithstanding the final passage of the DHS 2019 appropriation legislation. This will allow them to focus on their missions and help ensure the safety of recreational boaters.
“Despite the current lapse in funding, thousands of USCG professionals have continued to perform critical missions regardless of their own financial uncertainty. This is a true testament to their dedication, living the Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus — Always Ready. It is very fitting for the Congress to take action to ensure their well-being for the long term.”