­­Legislation would ensure Coast Guard members get paid
Coast Guardsmen conduct pyrotechnic training aboard the Coast Guard cutter Frederick Hatch off Palau, March 11, 2023.

­­Legislation would ensure Coast Guard members get paid

A bill in Congress would ensure that Coast Guard members receive their pay during a government shutdown, a key legislative priority of The American Legion. HR 2693, the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2023, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Hillary Scholten, D-Mich.

The legislation specifies that Chapter 27 of title 14, United States Code, would be updated to ensure that Coasties are paid during any lapse in appropriations funding.

Coast Guard personnel are vital to national security, but they serve in the only military branch working without pay during government shutdowns. The Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense, oversees the Coast Guard. That means that during shutdowns Homeland Security employees — Coasties and others — are not paid.

In January 2019, during the longest government shutdown, members of the Coast Guard continued to serve their nation even as their paychecks stopped. The American Legion stepped in to support the Coast Guard, raising and distributing more than $1 million to Coasties who were financially strapped.

American Legion National Commander Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola has highlighted this effort as he has visited Coast Guard stations, including three in Oregon.

“Coast Guard members are part of the military, just like those serving in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Space Force,” Troiola said. “They should be paid whether or not their funding comes from DoD. It’s a national security issue. We must take care of our servicemembers and their families. This bill is a necessary step to do so.”

Support Troiola’s message by contacting your member of Congress today to call for passage of the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act. 

The American Legion’s Grassroots Action Center offers information to stay informed on the issues and tools to communicate online with lawmakers and the media about the organization’s priorities.