It appears that another government shutdown is being threatened.
The only branch of this nation's military that does not get paid during a government shutdown is the U.S. Coast Guard. This is because they are under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and not the Pentagon.
During last year's shutdown, HR 367 was introduced in the House and S. 21 was introduced in the Senate. Both were referred to as "Pay Our Coast Guard" bills. Both had widespread bipartisan support.
Unfortunately, both pieces of legislation died of neglect when the shutdown ended. Neither Nancy Pelosi nor Mitch McConnell ever brought them to the floor for a vote, and no one raised their hand and asked, "Why not?"
Anyone who lives on any coast or any major waterway of America understands and appreciates the importance of the Coast Guard's mission. They look out for us, they keep drugs off our streets and shipborne commerce flowing. It is time for us to be there for them.
I'm calling on everyone who reads this letter to do what I did today — write and call your elected representatives. Demand action. Be it snail mail, email, a tweet or phone call, do whatever works best for you. If enough folks add their voices, they will understand they cannot ignore this issue.
It is unconscionable that we are in this position — again. Solutions have already been studied, legislation written and passed through committees. The time for Congress to act is now, before another shutdown.