For the first time, Coast Guard not receiving a paycheck amid partial government shutdown

PHOTO: Admiral Karl Schultz speaks after becoming the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard during a Change of Command ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, June 1, 2018.PlaySaul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Coast Guard families struggle to make ends meet during government shutdown

Despite a one-time emergency payment to U.S. Coast Guard members two weeks ago, the money has run out.

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Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard commandant, tweeted Tuesday that the Coast Guard would not be receiving their regularly scheduled mid-month paycheck.

"To the best of my knowledge, this marks the first time in our Nation’s history that servicemembers in a U.S. Armed Force have not been paid during a lapse in government appropriations," Schultz wrote.

Schultz said he recognizes the "anxiety and uncertainty" Coast Guard members are feeling and shared that Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, a nonprofit that assists members in financial need, received a $15 million donation from USAA, a financial services group that supports the military community and their families. The American Red Cross will also assist in distributing funds to military and civilian members in need.

PHOTO: Admiral Karl Schultz speaks after becoming the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard during a Change of Command ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, June 1, 2018. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
Admiral Karl Schultz speaks after becoming the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard during a Change of Command ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, June 1, 2018.

The commandant said he was grateful for the support shown to the Coast Guard.

"The strength of our Service has, and always will be, our people. You have proven time and again the ability to rise above adversity. Stay the course, stand the watch, and serve with pride. You are not, and will not, be forgotten," he wrote in his letter to Coast Guard members.

On Dec. 31, the Coast Guard doled out a one-time emergency payment to approximately 42,000 active duty service members. The Department of Homeland Security, which the Coast Guard is a part of, is not funded during the partial government shutdown, which is in its fourth week and is the longest-running shutdown in history. Coast Guard members have had to work without pay, unlike members in other branches of the U.S. military that fall under the Defense Department, which already has funding approved.

The Coast Guard warned members in a Dec. 28 post on the Coast Guard All Hands blog that the one-time emergency payment would not guarantee a paycheck Jan. 15.

PHOTO: Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz meets with partners from Joint Interagency Task Force South, a multiservice, multiagecy task force at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 29, 2018. Jasmine Mieszala/U.S. Coast Guard, FILE
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz meets with partners from Joint Interagency Task Force South, a multiservice, multiagecy task force at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 29, 2018.

"Meeting active duty and reserve military payroll for January 2019 will require a fiscal year 2019 appropriation, a continuing resolution, or passage of an alternative measure," the blog post said.

Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate seeking to fund the Coast Guard if the shutdown persists.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted Tuesday that she is working with the White House and Congress to pass legislation to reinstate funding for the Coast Guard.

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