The Coast Guard’s top officer slammed President Donald Trump’s shutdown Tuesday night on Twitter as thousands of federal employees face missing another paycheck during the 33-day lapse in appropriations.
“Ultimately, I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as servicemembers,” Adm. Karl Schultz said on a video posted to his Twitter account.
The Coast Guard is facing more severe effects of the shutdown because, unlike other branches of the armed services, it is funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense, which oversees most sectors of the U.S. military, is fully funded through the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30.
About 41,000 active-duty service members and 2,100 civilians considered “essential employees” are working without a paycheck, said Coast Guard spokesperson Chad Saylor. Another 6,400 civilians working for the service are furloughed.
Schultz said though he is heartened by the outpouring of support for members of the Coast Guard in the time of “anxiety and stress,” the situation is “sobering.”
“You as members of the armed forces should not be expected to shoulder this burden,” he said.
Your Coast Guard leadership team & the American people stand in awe of your continued dedication to duty, resilience, & that of your families. I find it unacceptable that @USCG members must rely on food pantries & donations to get through day-to-day life. #uscg pic.twitter.com/TZ9ppUidyO
— Admiral Karl Schultz (@ComdtUSCG) January 23, 2019
The admiral’s comments came the same day Coast Guardsmen and their families traveled to Capitol Hill and pleaded with lawmakers as they prepare to miss another paycheck.