Coast Guard defense raised by Senate, House

Bipartisan supporters in the Senate and House are urging the Trump administration to reconsider proposed plans to cut $1.3 billion from the U.S. Coast Guard budget.

Twenty-three senators said in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Administrator Mick Mulvaney on March 8 that the proposed Trump budget could add up to nearly a 12 percent cut in the Coast Guard budget.

“We are concerned that the Coast Guard would not be able to maintain maritime presence, respond to individual and national emergencies, and protect our nation’s economic and environmental interests,” said the senators, whose signers included Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska.

“The proposed reduction … would directly contradict the priorities articulated by the Trump Administration.  We urge you to restore the $1.3 billion cut to the Coast Guard budget, which we firmly believe would result in catastrophic negative impacts to the Coast Guard and its critical role in protecting our homeland, our economy and our environment.”

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Five days later, 28 members of the House, including Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, voiced similar concerns to the House Appropriations Subcommitttee on Homeland Security, saying such action would severely discount the effectiveness of the Coast Guard in drug interdiction.