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Coast Guard members working for free during government shutdown

Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 19:18:46-05


Without legislative action by midnight Friday, close to 42,000 Coast Guard members won’t see their paychecks until mid-January.

Some Coast Guard families are now living on a limited budget and hoping for a quick resolution on Capitol Hill.

“Just for this month in general, you know, we’re always looking to take care of our families at home, so naturally our budgets are going to be a little bit increased,” Meghan Daleiden said. “Then to throw something in the mix of being not able to receive that paycheck that some people might be depending on.”

Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are unaffected by the budget halt because funding for their departments was finalized last fall.

However, the Coast Guard’s funding falls under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, one of many government agencies forced to shut down last week over a political dispute concerning President Trump’s proposed southern border wall.

“To be thrown in this kind of emergency situation of, ‘How can I take care of my family?’ I know from my standpoint, I joined to serve the Coast Guard and our nation with no expectation of kind of any kind of huge reward or anything,” Daleiden said.

House and Senate negotiators have made no progress with the White House since the government shutdown began Saturday, leaving uncertainty for Coast Guard members working under emergency orders as to when they can expect to see their next paycheck.

“Any time like this where we have no idea when that next paycheck may be, and we don’t know the duration of how long the government will be shut down, and just trying to tap into that emergency plan and stuff like that is definitely stressful,” Daleiden said.

Tens of thousands of other government workers are also working without pay, but could see their checks just days after the end of the shutdown.

However, because of pay period structure, Coast Guard officials said they will likely have to wait a full month between paychecks.