Despite Proposed Cuts from the Administration, Coast Guard Funding Remains a Curbelo Priority
“We are going to be passing a budget resolution here soon for FY18, and we’re also going to finish funding FY17, and one of my priorities is to make sure we maintain a healthy funding level for the Coast Guard. As a matter of fact, I think the Coast Guard is under-funded today. So I’m going to work hard to make sure that is a priority and that we reject the notion that we should cut funds from our Coasties.”Today, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) joined Bill Becker on “Morning Magazine” to discuss his commitment to opposing the Administration’s proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Curbelo has consistently advocated and voted in support of increases to the Coast Guard’s budget since joining Congress. In the 114th Congress he served as Vice Chair of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and served on the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee, during which he highlighted Coast Guard programs combating drug trafficking, human smuggling, oil spills, and search and rescue.
A partial transcript of the exchange is below. A video of the exchange is available here, and broadcast quality audio is available for download here.
U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo
“Morning Magazine” with Bill Becker
March 8, 2017
Bill Becker: “You wanted to talk a little bit about what’s being proposed by the Trump administration regarding Coast Guard units, and this could affect us here in the keys. What’s the word?”
Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Yes. Look, the Administration wants to plus up defense funding, and I support that. That’s very important. We know that our military has struggled in recent years under the sequestration, and I have always been one of the members of the House that have signed a letter to mandate full and adequate funding for our military. However, this should not be done at the cost of agencies like the Coast Guard for districts like Florida 26, for areas like the Florida Keys, Miami, really all of the state of Florida. The Coast Guard is absolutely fundamental — not just for drug interdiction and protecting us — but also for taking care of our citizens who are out enjoying our beautiful waters.
“We are going to be passing a budget resolution here soon for FY18, and we’re also going to finish funding FY17, and one of my priorities is to make sure we maintain a healthy funding level for the Coast Guard. As a matter of fact, I think the Coast Guard is under-funded today. So I’m going to work hard to make sure that is a priority and that we reject the notion that we should cut funds from our Coasties.”
Becker: “This is kind of ironic. The Administration has made a big deal of protecting our borders. You got to think, ‘The Coast Guard’s right there, aren’t they?’”
Curbelo: “Right. There’s a little cognitive dissonance there. Obviously when it comes to drug trafficking and human trafficking and illegal immigration the Coast Guard is the front line of defense, so it really makes no sense. Again, these budgets that sometimes get sent up here, they leave much to be desired and members of both parties end up just kind of setting the executive’s budget aside and figuring it out up here amongst ourselves.”