Coast Guard group head talks meeting with lawmakers

Jon Ostrowski says Democrats and Republicans need to apologize to the American people when the shutdown ends.
4:40 | 01/23/19

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Transcript for Coast Guard group head talks meeting with lawmakers
Want to bring in now John Ostrosky he's the president of the Coast Guard chief petty officer association. Who joins us now live John think so much for common in your group has been one of those helping Coast Guard members and their families. You're also been appealing to lawmakers here in Washington are capitol hunt that in fact you were up there yesterday spent some time also was speaker Pelosi get us. A readout of those meetings what was your message to the lawmakers you met with and how where he received. Well thank you for having me the message that we had yesterday four both the house the senate and we had roughly thirty. Chief petty officer association members and spouses. Help us distribute packets. To all of the over 500 offices on the hill. To inform them of two bills HR 367. And S 21. To pay the Coast Guard. And the message that we we we we handed out to them. Was that our Coast Guard is suffering and they're doing their mission they're doing their jobs are protecting the nation. But they're either. Will and they're in their morale is as being affected by this and eventually that leads to too dangerous situations and but we we had meetings with mostly only the staffers and miss Pelosi is staff we met with the chief of staff there. And they were very empathetic but look like the long term solution from her office. Was to get all 800 federal employees paid. And we were trying to just kneeled to separate and show the difference that we our military we are working side by side with her DOD. Brothers and sisters around the world operating in doing our mission as we're supposed to. And and it's very hard to be sitting on working next to. Another ship manner soldier when they're being paid and you're not and your constant worrying about how you can feed your family back home. Yeah you know I I and I've been struck John by the fact that this is the first shut down there hasn't been a PR military. PR Coast Guard act. Passed by bipartisan majorities ahead of time every other shot down we should remind people need to be military including the Coast Guard had been paid they've been taken off the table. Are you surprised that in this instance the that you do Coast Guard is getting this kind of treatment. I'm shocked even have to make that case tube to both parties is particularly given their lip service to love the military the Coast Guard. Yeah it is shocking to me. This is never happened before and when when when this is all over in the government's back operating again we need to look at legislation now for the long term to avoid the military and the Coast Guard. From ever having this again and and quite frankly I'm disappointed I'm expecting that. That's all leadership from both the administration and the house and senate. They should probably have a joint press conference and apologized in this nation altogether. Because this is a disgrace and in our government isn't functioning properly when this happens you know we all raised their hands. And sworn to defend the constitution of the United States and Obey the orders of our commander in chief and we have done that no matter who is sitting in that seat and to see this happening right now is just shameful. You know underscore that point of why the Coast Guard has been singled out. Instead they're finds entering different mechanism housed. Under the department of homeland security summit in most Americans might not know. Do you think that moving forward there could even be long term legislation to reorient. And put the Coast Guard back under the current advance. You. You know I don't know. How that will work out what the lawmakers. We are we have unique authorities. For law enforcement and drug interdiction so. I suppose you know they can make any law that is necessary to make that happen. But I can almost guarantee you that if the Coast Guard appropriation. Was its own bill every year and not part of DHS or DOD we would probably have bipartisan support. A 100% support every single year because of the mission we do. I don't think there would be anybody complaining about that. But with the political. Fighting going on right now we're pretty much cotton a cross hairs here along with our other. 800 furloughed in employees out there. And so it's kind of it's a sad day for the Coast Guard and the rest of the government that's. Not getting a paycheck. Hey John Ostrosky president beach or Coast Guard chief petty officers' association thanks so much for coming in John our thoughts or do you think for your service thanks for. Organization serves as well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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