When it comes to border security, POTUS Donald Trump is a man of his word and a man of action. Democrats…not so much.
The president remained in Washington, D.C., following Democrats’ refusal to approve a paltry $5 billion for border security measures including wall construction in a year-end spending bill, thus causing a partial government shutdown.
One of those agencies affected is the U.S. Coast Guard, which is on duty 24/7/365 to protect our boundaries, enforce trafficking laws, and respond to nautical emergencies.
While Democrats left town for the holidays, including likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who spent Christmas at a regular stop — a posh Hawaii resort — POTUS worked with White House and Cabinet officials to meet this week’s $75 million payroll to ensure that the Coasties got paid.
The Washington Examiner reported:
Trump stepped in on Wednesday, calling on top lawyers and staffers to determine if the Coast Guard could make payroll despite being included in the shutdown that has impacted about 25 percent of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.
Great work by my Administration over the holidays to save Coast Guard pay during this #SchumerShutdown. No thanks to the Democrats who left town and are not concerned about the safety and security of Americans!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2018
The Coast Guard is an armed force and during wartime has fallen under the command of the U.S. Navy in the past. But since it is primarily a maritime law enforcement agency, it does not fall under direct command of the Pentagon.
Traditional U.S. military personnel under the Defense Department are not included in the shutdown because the Pentagon was funded earlier this year by Congress.
Officials noted that the president wanted to find a “way we can fix this” for the Coast Guard after news reports regarding the plight of the service began to roll in.
Therefore, at POTUS’ urging, the Office of Management and Budget, DHS, and the Coast Guard all determined that payroll rules regarding the sea service require it to be made through the end of the year.
To do that, lawyers noted that unused funds could be tapped to pay the Coasties. As such, the service had slightly more than $75 million left over from a previous continuing resolution appropriate, which was enough to meet the latest payroll.
In addition, “the administration also sped up check writing in other cases and was able to deliver this week a payroll check to furloughed federal employees for time worked up to the shutdown, which began Dec. 22,” The Washington Examiner noted.
In an email to Coast Guard forces, Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray said, “This is outstanding news for our military workforce.”
Now it’ll be up to Democrats to return to D.C. to approve additional funding for DHS and other departments not currently funded and remain shut down. That will have to include funding for the president’s border wall, something he has promised voters for more than two years.
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