Don’t Hold Coast Guard, NOAA Corps Hostage During Shutdown

Don’t Hold Coast Guard, NOAA Corps Hostage During Shutdown

(U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers)

About the Author

Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret), is the Director of Currently Serving and Retired Affairs for MOAA's Government Relations department.

Barron retired from the Army in 2010 after a 30-year career as an airborne-ranger infantry officer and military strategist. During his professional military career, he served in leadership positions at all levels, from tactical through strategic.  He is a decorated combat veteran of operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Barron's last active duty assignment was as special assistant to the secretary of the Army.

After retiring from active duty, he was an executive with the Boeing Co., working in its Washington, D.C., government operations office, first as director of Government Affairs and then as director of International Operations and Policy.

He joined MOAA's Government Relations Department in April 2013 and specializes in defense policy, active duty compensation, and retirement issues.

Read full biography here.

[Note from MOAA: USPHS has clarified the pay status of its officers. Read more here.]

The government shutdown that started after negotiations broke down between the administration and Congress on Dec. 21, continues with the new 116th Congress swearing in this week.  

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are fully funded as appropriations for the Defense Department for FY2019, was passed this past fall.  Likewise, the U.S. Public Health Service was funded for FY19 under the appropriations legislation passed for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Still remaining are the U.S. Coast Guard, which was notified on Dec. 28 that the Department of Homeland Security, which they are under, was able to find a workaround to get their active-duty personnel paid for at least the first of January.

The last of the seven uniformed services, which MOAA advocates on behalf of, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which falls under the Department of Commerce, also remains without approved funding for FY2019.

Holding these two important uniform services hostage to the current budget impasse is not right and does not best serve the important requirements and interests of the nation.

As the debate and negotiations approach their third week, MOAA needs you to engage with your representatives in Congress to tell them to support spending bills that provide the full funding needed for the Coast Guard and the NOAA Corps for the remainder of FY2019.

Please take action now by clicking on this link to tell your representative that you want them to support full funding for the Coast Guard and the NOAA Corps.  The vital missions these two uniformed services provide to the country are too important not to earn full funding through FY2019.

The new Democrat leadership taking over control of the House of Representatives this week, in recent statements, is looking to put forward spending bills that would fund the Department of Homeland Security at least through Feb. 8, if not through FY2019, but there is no guarantee that those proposals will go anywhere. 

The politics on both sides involve a number complicated deadlocked positions which could challenge getting legislation approved for timely and full funding bills for the remaining agencies.  These issues include most prominently the additional $5 billion in funding that President Trump has requested for a border wall.