President Donald Trump asked his top staff members and attorneys this week to find a way to meet the U.S. Coast Guard's $75 million payroll despite the partial government shutdown. Trump is concerned that Coast Guard forces would lose a paycheck, the Washington Examiner reported.
Why is this happening?
The Coast Guard is part of the shutdown that is impacting about 25 percent of the government. That includes the Department of Homeland Security, which the Coast Guard is under. Military personnel under the Department of Defense are not impacted because their funding was previously approved by Congress.
Trump reportedly noticed media reports about how the shutdown is causing hardships for Coast Guardsmen. Members of the president's team said his is adamant about finding a way to “fix this," according to the report.
The Office of Management and Budget, DHS, and Coast Guard officials have determined that the Coast Guard must be paid through the end of the year. To meet the payroll, attorneys determined that “unused funding" could be used. The agency reportedly has just a little over the $75 million needed to make "this month's last payroll check," according to the Washington Examiner.
The Trump administration also was able to pay furloughed federal employees for the time they worked prior to the shutdown, which began Dec. 22.
In an email to Coast Guard forces, Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Ray called it “outstanding news for our military workforce."
The Coast Guard's All Hands blog explains that at this time, only the Dec. 31 paycheck is covered.
The blog states:
• If you were an active duty military member in December, then you will receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018. That paycheck will include all of the normal pay and allowance benefits (e.g. basic pay, BAH, BAS, etc.).
• If you were a reservist that served on active duty during the month of December, you will also receive your monthly paycheck on Dec. 31, 2018 and it will include all of your normal pay and allowance entitlements.
• Finally, if you were a reservist that conducted reserve training prior to Dec. 21, 2018, then you will receive the appropriate pay and allowance entitlements on Dec. 31, 2018.
What happens next?
"Meeting active duty and reserve military payroll for January 2019 will require a fiscal year 2019 appropriation, a continuing resolution, or passage of an alternative measure," the blog states.