- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard late Tuesday blasted the partial government shutdown and said it’s “unacceptable” that service members continue to work without pay.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, Adm. Karl L. Schultz said that in addition to the more than 40,000 active duty Coast Guard who missed paychecks on Jan. 15, another 8,000 civilian members of the service will go without pay on Friday.

As a part of the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard is the only branch of the military affected by the shutdown, which has lasted more than a month. Adm. Schultz and other Coast Guard officials have grown increasingly vocal in recent days and seem especially disturbed by nationwide reports of Coast Guard families relying on food pantries and donations to get by.

“We’re five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay,” Adm. Schultz said. “You as members of the armed forces should not be expected to shoulder this burden. I remain heartened by assistance available to you … and the outpouring of support from local communities across the nation. But ultimately I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members.”

With President Trump and leaders on Capitol Hill entrenched and no closer to a resolution than they were a month ago, Adm. Schultz said he’ll personally lobby lawmakers to pay the Coast Guard.

“I will continue … to take to Capitol Hill the message, the critical importance, of putting paychecks in the men and women’s hands that serve in the world’s best Coast Guard,” he said.

Lawmakers of both parties have pushed legislation to pay Coast Guard members, but so far the measures haven’t come up for votes.

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