Sending Office: Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Coast Guard Deserves Equal Treatment of Other Armed Forces: Cosponsor H.R. 367, the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019
Current Cosponsors: Reps. Bonamici, Courtney, Crist, Garamendi,
M. Kelly, Lowenthal, Mast, Rose, Schrader, Swalwell, B. Thompson
Endorsed by the National Military and Veterans Alliance (made up of: the American Military Society, the American Retirees Association, AMVETS, the Armed Forces Retirees Association, the Army and Navy Union, the Association of the
United States Navy, the Healing Household 6, the Military Order of Foreign Wars, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Military Order of World Wars, the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, the Reserve Officers Association, the Sea Service Family Foundation,
the Society of Military Widows, the Flag and General Officers’ Network, The Independence Fund, and Vietnam Veterans of America); the Seas Service Family, Foundation; the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association; the Coast Guard Enlisted Association; the
CWOA, USCG; the American Legion; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; American Veterans (AMVETS) ; the Military Order of Purple Heart; the Military Officers Association of America Reserve Officers Association; the Association of the United States Army Association
of the United States Navy; the Air Force Association; the Marine Corps Reserve Association; the Non-Commissioned Officers Association National Military Family Association; the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association; the Fleet Reserve Association; the Service Women’s
Action Network; the Armed Forces Retirees Association; the Jewish War Veterans of the USA; the American Military Society; the Army and Navy Union; the Military Order of Foreign Wars; the Military Order of World Wars; The Flag and General Officers’ Network;
the Navy League of the United States; the Hamilton County Veterans Association; and six previous Master Chief Petty Officers of the Coast Guard
As one of the five armed services, the United States Coast Guard (“Coast Guard”) is always on duty, performing missions to protect and defend the Nation. Due to the current lapse of appropriations, members of the Coast Guard are the only members of the United
States military not being paid for their critical and ongoing operations. Despite the current lapse, Coast Guard operations continue without interruption.
- Cutters continue to patrol, save lives, interdict lives, and service navigational aids.
- Aircraft continue to fly, searching out and saving mariners in distress.
- Coast Guard operations centers continue to stand a live watch, 24 hours per day to ensure that no distress call goes unheard.
Like members of the other Armed Forces, members of the Coast Guard serve out of a sense of duty. Yet many, especially junior enlisted members, live paycheck to paycheck. An interruption to the pay of these military service members directly impacts their
ability to put food on the table, pay rent, and provide for their families. If the lapse in appropriations extends into February, it could also impact retired Coast Guard members and their families.
The Administration used a one-time fix to pay Coast Guard military members on January 1, 2019. However, such a procedure is not available going forward. The Coast Guard has tried to share information with its members regarding ways to potentially mitigate
the impacts of the lapse. However, many of the hardships cannot be mitigated – only new appropriations will allow Coast Guard members and employees to begin to address the challenges arisen from the lapse in appropriations.
The Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019 (H.R. 367) provides funding during any period in fiscal year 2019 during which interim or full-year appropriations for the Coast Guard are not in effect to provide for:
- Pay and allowances for active duty and reserve members of the Coast Guard;
- Pay and allowances for civilian employees of the Coast Guard;
- Pay and allowances for contractors of the Coast Guard;
- Payment of death gratuities with respect to members of the Coast Guard;
- Payment or reimbursement of authorized funeral travel and travel related to the dignified transfer of remains and unit memorial services with respect to members of the Coast Guard;
- Temporary continuation of a basic allowance of housing for dependents of members of the Coast Guard dying on active duty; and
- Coast Guard retired pay and benefits.
Any funds made available under this bill are available until another appropriation (including a continuing resolution) is provided or another law or resolution makes clear that funds are not provided for a specific purpose.
The bill also provides backpay for furloughed Coast Guard civilian employees, as well as for Coast Guard military members, civilians, and contractors who provided services during the lapse in appropriations.
I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 367, the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019, to ensure that the men and women of Coast Guard receive similar treatment to that of the other Armed Forces. We must uphold our responsibility as the Coast Guard continues to perform
its critical missions during the current lapse in appropriations.
If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Luke Petersen at
Luke.Petersen@mail.house.gov or Kris “KP” Pratt at
Kris.Pratt@mail.house.gov, or call the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at 225-4472.
Peter DeFazio, Chairman
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
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