The US Naval Institute News Services reports the Coast Guard reauthorization bill out of committee. Significantly it includes language that would allow Coast Guard personnel to be continued to be paid, even if there is another government shutdown.
“The House committee authorizing Coast Guard activities approved a measure that would guarantee the service’s active duty and civilian personnel are paid in the event of a federal government shutdown, as part of a two-year spending authorization bill.”
This is only the action of a committee, but it is likely to pass since this two year authorization bill enjoys bipartisan support and is not nearly as contentious as a budget bill.
There was also language supporting a new Great Lakes icebreaker. That in turn was supported by some earlier criticism, that really reflects the shortage of operating funds the current Commandant has been talking about.
“The reliability [of Coast Guard icebreaking] was abysmal last year,” James Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, said last week during a hearing before House Transportation subcommittee on the Coast Guard and maritime transportation. “Five of the nine icebreakers [assigned to the Great Lakes] were inoperable.”