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Maloney Bills to Pay Coast Guard Personnel During Shutdowns, Require Report on Effects of Climate Change on Coast Guard Pass Transportation Committee

Mar 27, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Two legislative provisions authored by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, passed the full House Transportation and Infrastructure committee today. The first provision, the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, a bill co-authored by Rep. Peter DeFazio, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman and Chairman Maloney, would require Coast Guard personnel to be paid in the event of any government shutdown. The second is a bill Rep. Maloney introduced last month requiring the Coast Guard to assemble a report on the effects of Climate Change on Coast Guard facilities and operations. 

The Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act

“Tens of thousands of American servicemembers went without pay during the shutdown simply because of departmental jurisdiction – that’s a disgrace and it can never happen again,” said Chairman Maloney. “This legislation would guarantee that Coast Guard personnel will receive pay for their work just like the brave personnel who protect our country in any other branch of the armed services.”

In the midst of the government shutdown in January, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers introduced the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act to ensure Coast Guard personnel were paid during this lapse in appropriations. Recognizing that the men and women of the Coast Guard should never be put in this position again, Rep. DeFazio and Rep. Maloney amended the bill to  require members of the Coast Guard to be paid during any future shutdown in which personnel of the Department of Defense receive pay for their work.

During the partial government shutdown, over 42,000 Coast Guard personnel went without pay. Because the Coast Guard is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Department of Defense, its employees were not paid throughout the duration of the shutdown. Following the shutdown, Congress provided back pay to all Coast Guard staff.

 

Climate Change Report

“We know climate change is going to wreak havoc on DoD facilities per the department’s own report – you don’t have to be an expert to recognize that Coast Guard facilities along our shorelines will also be threatened,” said Chairman Maloney. “The question is not if the Coast Guard will be affected – the question is how serious the threat is and what steps we can take to protect our installations.”

Rep. Maloney’s bill will require the Commandant of the Coast Guard to assemble a report within one year identifying which of its installations are most vulnerable to threats posed by climate change, including rising sea levels and increased flooding. The report would also include recommendations regarding possible methods to mitigate these threats. Additionally, the legislation would require the report to assess how the effects that increasing humanitarian needs resulting from climate change would impact the Guard’s mission, and methods of mitigating these growing demands.

Last year, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) required the Department of Defense (DoD) to assemble a similar report on its department. The report, released in January, found that the majority of critical installations were threatened by climate change. Because the Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it was not required to assemble its own report. Rep. Maloney originally introduced the bill last month.