House Lawmakers Challenge OMB’s Plan to Slash $1.3B From Coast Guard Budget

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A bipartisan group of 58 legislators has sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee’s homeland security subpanel to oppose the White House’s plan to implement a $1.3 billion reduction in the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget, Defense News reported Monday.

Joe Gould writes the Office of Management and Budget proposed to eliminate the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Response Team for counterterrorism efforts and cancel funding support for the service branch’s ninth National Security Cutter ship.

The lawmakers led by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California), chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime subcommittee, said in the letter that OMB’s proposed cut to the Coast Guard’s budget “should be dismissed” since it contradicts President Donald Trump’s aim to rebuild the military.

“Our recommendation is that OMB’s financial outline, specific to the Coast Guard, be rejected on the grounds that, if implemented, it would serve to the detriment of U.S. national security and create exposures that will most certainly be exploited by transnational criminal networks and other dangerous actors,” the lawmakers added.

Trump is expected Thursday to file with Congress the administration’s 2018 budget proposal that seeks to implement a $54 billion increase in defense discretionary spending, according to the report.

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