The Coast Guard received nearly $1 billion more in fiscal year (FY) 2018 than in any other regular appropriation in the Service’s history—$12.1 billion total. The previous high-water mark was set with the 2016 appropriation. Yet, military and civilian members are deeply concerned about year-after-year cuts. How can a military service that received record appropriations in two of three years be complaining about cuts?
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) reduced spending limits, indirectly causing the loss of non-pay inflation in the Coast Guard portion of Executive budget requests. These cuts and the resultant loss of sustained buying power have not been restored by appropriations even as substantial additional funds for new assets have been provided above the budget requests. The net result has been a loss in readiness. The BCA needs to be restructured to address the Coast Guard’s budget paradox.
The Bad Timing of Congressional Relief