By Aniela Szymanski, Chief Policy Officer
Congress has again averted a government shut down by extended government funding until February 2, 2024, for Homeland Security, Defense, and Commerce, amongst a few other agencies. Some agencies, though, only have funding through January 19, 2024, like VA. VA's funding for essential services like healthcare and disability compensation, however, is funded in two-year increments, so those will continue even past the deadline.
This is both good and bad news. Of course, the good news is that service members will not have the stress of a government shutdown during the holiday season. The bad news is that a budget has still not been passed and the Congressional in-fighting will continue next year. Spending cuts have been the number one talking point of Republicans in Congress, so there is little chance that negotiations in such a closely divided Congress will go any easier next year. CWOA will continue working with members of Congress to ensure that the Coast Guard funding is approved and for the passage of the Pay Our Coast Guard Act to protect against any future government shutdowns.
In the meantime, Senate blockades of military confirmations continue. Coast Guard nominations are held up in the process, including 13 flag officers. A full list can be seen here: U.S. Senate: Nominations in Committee (Non-Civilian).
While a work around has been passed by the Senate Rules Committee, there is significant doubt that the full Senate will approve the workaround to allow groups of nominees to be confirmed by the Senate before the end of the year. CWOA is writing letters to members of the Senate to demand action on the Coast Guard nominations and will continue to insist on the Senate removing this obstacle. CWOA members can write letters, as well. Contact your Senators!
U.S. Senate: Contacting U.S. Senators
The views expressed in the articles in this publication are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizations for which they work, CWOAUSCG, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.