Hope floats — Bradley Byrne introduces bill to pay Coast Guard during government shutdown

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The U.S. Coast Guard is the only branch of the military whose members go without pay during a government shutdown. That’s because unlike the rest of the military, the branch falls under the Department of Homeland Security, rather than the Department of Defense.

With no end in site for the government shutdown, Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne has introduced legislation that would remedy the situation and ensure members of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard retirees are paid during the current shutdown.

Byrne introduced the Always Ready Act, on Wednesday to keep paying personnel even during a lapse in appropriations.

“I’m proud of the strong Coast Guard presence we have in Southwest Alabama. These men and women work hard and put their lives in danger in order to keep the American people safe. As we continue to fight for stronger border security and work to resolve the government shutdown, I believe members of the Coast Guard should be paid just as other members of the Armed Forces are paid,” said Byrne. “I hope the House and Senate will act swiftly on my bill, the Always Ready Act, to ensure members of the Coast Guard and their families receive the pay they deserve.”

There are more than 50,000 members of the Coast Guard. Roughly 42,000 of them are required to work during the shutdown, regardless of pay, because they are deemed “essential” employees.

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