"Good morning, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to appear before this distinguished subcommittee to discuss our fiscal year 1998 budget request and its impact on the current and future state of the Coast Guard.
"The Coast Guard stands at the forefront of public service. We work extremely hard to provide the best possible service at the least possible cost. Our multimission capability allows us to carry out economic, environmental, and humanitarian missions, while serving as an integral part of national security. We save lives and property, keep shipping channels open, preserve our living marine resources, and protect our ports and waterways. We stop drugs, illegal migration, and environmental pollution."