Proposed Budget Slashes Billions from Coast Guard to Fund Border Wall

The current administration is considering major cuts to the Coast Guard budget in order to fund it’s plans to build a multi-billion-dollar border wall and to crack down on illegal immigration. In the draft budget proposal, the already over-stretched Coast Guard will have its funding cut by 14% from $9.1 billion to about $7.8 billion.

The taxpayer-funded border wall is notionally intended to protect the less than 2,000 mile southern border with Mexico. Notably, illegal crossings of the southern border are already at a 40 year low. The wall would come at the expense of the Coast Guard’s protection of the nation’s 12,000 mile coast. The shoreline itself, including bays, rivers and capes is over 85,000 miles long. 

In addition to saving mariners’ lives, the Coast Guard plays a critical role in coastal security, drug interdiction, and environmental protection. As reported by Politico:

In fiscal 2016, the Coast Guard intercepted 6,346 undocumented migrants, patrolled 3.4 million square nautical miles and removed 201 metric tons of cocaine and 52,613 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $5.9 billion, spokeswoman Lt. Amy Midgett said. It also responded to 35 oil and 17 hazardous substance incidents, analyzed and investigated more than 13,000 and 1,800 cyber events, respectively, and conducted 139 airborne intercept missions over the Washington area at the request of the Department of Defense.

In addition, the demand for Coast Guard assets to train Central American forces in interdiction efforts has increased 320 percent this year, Midgett said.

Most of the cuts would hit funding for new equipment, which would fall by 65 percent to $670 million under the proposed budget plan. The proposal would save $500 million by canceling the contract for a new national security cutter, and it also proposes delaying acquisition of the C-27J Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft for one year.

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6 Responses to Proposed Budget Slashes Billions from Coast Guard to Fund Border Wall

  1. RobM says:

    The problem here is the sources ; Wapo and Politico. Both are partisan hackfests doing their level best to spew disinformation or alarming agiprop to inflame and enrage. Let’s just see what budget gets proposed.

    No one seemed to mind we went 7 years with no budget at all. That state of affairs was unlikely to continue, so if there is budget cuts, that is how it is.. continuing resolutions , one after the other just was reckless and put us in incredible debt. From a landlubber, I sure would like to hear that the Coast Guard did a better job of sticking idiot mariners with the cost of SAR b/c it seems too many on the coast just do whatever and the rest of us pay dearly for their mistakes.

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    Deny the facts all you want. Doesn’t change a thing. The Trump regime wants to cut Coast Guard funding to build a needless wall. The Coast Guard is already underfunded. The proposed budget cuts are mindbogglingly stupid and a threat to our basic security, about what I expect from the current junta.

  3. Roger says:

    Hear hear Rick. Well said.

  4. One was disappointed but not really surprised to read your reply to “RobM’s” comment. On a previous occasion recently you expressed yourself forcefully to a comment I made. Cutting people down whose opinion you do not care for due to what are clearly your political beliefs only belittles your Blog. At one time you set the standard for maritime blogs. It seems that due to the recent General Election results you have developed a resentment. As to the U.S. Coast Guard they have money and need to use it more wisely. Also they need to concentrate on U.S. shipping, the “El Faro” being a clear example of them not doing the job. Having spent over two decades in cruise ships as a Deck Officer I know they try to make as many problems as possible for them to the point of harassment.
    Perhaps you will decide not to publish this but it does not matter in the least as you will have to have read it which is my point. May I suggest you take a deep breath, have a cup of coffee, perhaps de-caf would be better, before writing those cut them down comments. Get back to thinking things through and writing more fair and balanced remarks.

    Good Watch

  5. Rick Spilman says:

    It is unfortunate although not unexpected that those with no rational argument to make, invariably attempt to change the subject. Rob starts by attacking the media because he chooses not to address the facts presented.

    Then Captain Boucher takes offense at my tone, another convenient dodge to avoid the real topic. He then defends cutting the budget of the over-burdened Coast Guard, for which as a professional mariner, he should really have more respect.

    The US Coast Guard plays a critical role in the safety of mariners and in our national security. They are overstretched and underfunded already. The fact that the current resident of the White House is willing to sacrifice national security for an absurdly unnecessary border wall, says all that need be said.

  6. Doug Bostrom says:

    I’m with the skipper of this boat– let’s stick to facts.

    More speculatively, look for structural waste to be added when we inevitably learn that SAR and other CG activities will be “outsourced,” as w/the UK and their recent weird mania for adding middleman business plans and requirements for profit to taxpayer responsibilities.

    When this happens, remember: the intent of private enterprise is to divert consumer money from consumer intent. Fine when selling televisions etc. but not good when tangled with matters having nothing to do with consumer choice.