March 16, 2017 — Opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed slashing of the Coast Guard budget to pay for the Mexican border wall continues to grow, with members of Congress arguing cuts would contradict the president’s goal of rebuilding the nation’s armed forces.
Nearly 60 bi-partisan members of the House of Representatives, including 6th District Congressman Seth Moulton of Salem, signed a letter Monday highlighting the folly of cutting about $1.3 billion, or about 14.3 percent, from the Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion annual budget.
The letter, addressed to the chairman and ranking member of the House subcommittee on homeland security, stated the Office of Management and Budget’s financial outline for the Department of Homeland Security — which includes the Coast Guard — is a “cause for serious alarm.”
“It is nonsensical to pursue a policy of rebuilding the armed forces while proposing large reductions to the U.S. Coast Guard budget,” the letter stated. “Without question, OMB’s proposed cut targeting the Coast Guard directly contradicts the president’s stated goals and should be dismissed.”
The letter points to the pivotal role the Coast Guard plays in the interdiction of illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants and its direct impact on border security and law enforcement. It said the proposed cuts severely discount the value and effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard in both areas.