Jeremy Herb reports:
“Nearly two dozen senators on Wednesday slammed the White House for proposing major cuts to the Coast Guard’s budget to help pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall and stepped-up immigration enforcement.
“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,” write 23 senators, led by Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney.
They warned the cuts “would directly contradict the priorities articulated by the Trump administration, in particular the priorities regarding enhanced maritime security needs and desire to invest in our national security.”
In draft budget documents first reported by POLITICO, the Coast Guard’s budget for fiscal 2018 would be reduced 14 percent to $7.8 billion, while the TSA and FEMA would both see drops of more than 10 percent.
The cuts would help fund Trump’s immigration crackdown, including more than $1.9 billion for Trump’s border wall, $915 million for border surveillance technology and $285 million for the first tranche of new Customs and Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Hardest hit would be the Coast Guard’s budget for new helicopters, vessels and other equipment, including the cancellation of a new national security cutter, the Coast Guard’s largest ship class.
The senators — 20 Democrats and three Republicans — argue that the Coast Guard’s acquisition of the cutter and new polar icebreakers should not be sacrificed given its major role in drug interdiction efforts and port security.”
See my previous post on the proposed cuts to the Coast Guard here:
In addition to the other nice things I said about the Coast Guard, as all of us who have spent time in small vessels on the ocean know, the brave men and women of our Coast Guard save lives and enforce important safety rules that protect all of us!