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Rick Scott backs bill to pay Coast Guard members during government shut down

Nearly 5,000 Coast Guard members in Florida don’t know when their next paycheck is coming.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott talks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami on Sept. 11, 2017, in Opa-Locka. Scott had flown over the Florida Keys to assess damage from Hurricane Irma. [Alan Diaz | Associated Press]
Published Jan. 16
Updated Jan. 16

Sen. Rick Scott is co-sponsoring a bill that would exempt members of the U.S. Coast Guard during the ongoing government shut down as well as future budget battles.

It’s the first bill Scott has co-sponsored since joining the Senate on Jan. 9.

“Our men and women risk their lives every day to protect our freedom and our way of life," Scott said in a statement. “Congress has failed to pass a budget and keep government funded; the men and women of our Coast Guard shouldn’t be punished for the dysfunction of Washington.”

Unlike other branches of the military, the Coast Guard is not under the Department of Defense, which remains funded during the shut down. The Coast Guard is in the Department of Homeland Security, which is not.

There are 4,879 active duty U.S. Coast Guard members in Florida affected by the shutdown, according to Scott’s office.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Local Coast Guard families decry shutdown’s ‘slap in the face’ as they borrow to pay bills

The partial government shut down has lasted 26 days, the longest portions of the government have ever been closed due to lack of funding.


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