The commandant of the Coast Guard said Tuesday that it has not yet fully recovered from the effects of the partial government shutdown, which ended in January.
“I think we’re 75 percent reconstituted,” said Admiral Karl Schultz in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the budget.
“Some things we never get back. We had to defer boat maintenance periods, those are our fleets of hundreds of small boats, cutter maintenance periods, some of that just got pushed to the right. We had furloughed contracting officers, so you just can’t do that kind of work. That is not recoverable,” he said in response to a question from Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Latina lawmakers discuss efforts to increase representation MORE (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee.
Schultz offered assurances that the Coast Guard would be ready ahead of June 1, when hurricane season begins.
“In the next month or so, I think we’re going to be back to a good place,” he said.
President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE in late December instigated the government shutdown in an attempt to force Congress to fund his proposed border wall. Congress eventually allocated just $1.35 billion of the $5.7 billion Trump requested for border barriers, prompting Trump to declare a state of emergency to reprogram military funds for the wall.
The record 35-day partial shutdown hit the Coast Guard, which is funded through the same Department of Homeland Security bill that deals with border security. Most Coast Guard employees had to work without pay, while some employees and contractors were furloughed.
“For an organization that’s struggling with readiness, the shutdown does not help that. It sort of exacerbates that,” Schultz said.