Home » Budget Industry » Special Arrangement Pays Active-Duty Coast Guard in December Despite Shutdown

Special Arrangement Pays Active-Duty Coast Guard in December Despite Shutdown

A Coast Guard Cutter Sherman crewmember lowers the national ensign during a ceremony honoring Sherman’s final colors, held the evening before the Sherman was decommissioned in Honolulu, Mar. 28, 2018. Coast Guard photo.

While the Department of Homeland Security lacks funding to operate in Fiscal Year 2019, active duty Coast Guard personnel will receive their regularly-scheduled pay due on Dec. 31.

DHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials identified a way to pay active duty Coast Guard personnel and reservists serving during December. DHS is one of several domestic agencies which ran out of money on Dec. 21 when a temporary funding bill expired, causing a partial government shutdown.

“Generally, the Coast Guard lacks the authority to pay its members during a lapse in appropriations. The circumstances of this lapse are unique because of the timeline of the lapse in relation to the military pay process. Ultimately, extensive research and legal analysis between the Coast Guard, DHS, and OMB determined the Coast Guard has the authority to execute the remainder of pay and allowances for December,” according to a Coast Guard message posted to the service’s blog Coast Guard All Hands.

Funding for more security measures along the U.S. border with Mexico is at the core of why FY 2019 funding for DHS and other agencies was not approved before the fiscal year started on Oct. 1. The Senate and House passed different border wall funding levels, but a compromise has not been reached. The Department of Defense FY 2019 funding was approved by Congress and signed by Trump before the Oct. 1 start to the new fiscal year.

The decision to issue pay for the period ending Dec. 31 comes after several days of media reports highlighting how during the partial federal government shutdown, Coast Guard personnel were the only active duty members of the military not paid for their service.

However, the issuance of pay on Dec. 31 amounts to a temporary solution. If Congress and President Donald Trump do not approve either a funding plan for FY 2019 or another stopgap funding bill by the middle of January, Coast Guard personnel will not receive their next paychecks, according to the Coast Guard.

“Meeting active duty and reserve military payroll for January 2019 will require a fiscal year 2019 appropriation, a continuing resolution, or passage of an alternative measure,” according to the Coast Guard blog post.

  • NavySubNuke

    Glad to see the puddle pirates are going to get their full checks for December. Hopefully Congress fulfills its basic function and gets things fixed in time for the mid month January pay period.

    • Marc Apter

      The House had approved a funding bill for the rest of FY 2019 many days before the money ran out, but Trump told the Senate Leadership to not allow it to come up for a vote. After that different stop gap bills were approved in each House, but there was no negotiations for a final bill. So as Trump said on TV, the shut down is all his responsibility. So don’t blame Congress!

  • Ctrot

    So during a “partial government shutdown” where only “essential” functions continue the Department of Homeland Security is NOT considered “essential”?

    • Marc Apter

      Nope! Most of DHS is essential, they just don’t get paid for coming into work.

      • old guy

        DHS was cobbled tgether from several useful, but unrelated groups. It has led to much intramural squabbling. Needs sorting out.

  • old guy

    Another good reason to merge the Coast Guard with the Navy. There are lots more. Most evident since its excellant operations in WW2.

  • Ed L

    Time to Close the all the Borders crossings and customs stations, why, no funds provided by congress to pay the essential border patrol officer and other essential officers. Time to shutdown all custom stations and Ports of entry (airports included) leading into and out of the United States of America. The 5 billion President Trump is asking for is not only for the wall but for the Custom stations, Our Coast Guard, DHS personel and border crossing operations.

    • Refguy

      Close the border means no imports of cars or other manufactured items, no Dos Equis, many fresh fruits and vegetables.

      • Ed L

        Yes and don’t forget all the ports of entry into the United States of America. No one coming in and no one going out. imports of cars? toyota’s Madza’s etc all build cars in America. I bet all those Foreign car manufactors have enough parts on hand to keep building cars for a couple of weeks.

        • Refguy

          Maybe, but Ford and GM do final assembly in Mexico (not sure about FCA). You can’t assemble fruits and vegetables from stocks and part.

  • East Bound & Down

    I worked with the Coasties several times in my 27 years in the Navy. I’m glad to see they’ll get paid on time; but that t is was even in doubt is total Bull. I can hope that none of the members of congress will get paid until the impasse is settled!