Lawmakers blast Coast Guard budget proposal

Mike Schuler
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February 26, 2010

By Susan Schept – Navy Times Staff writer
Thursday Feb 25, 2010 20:04:27 EST

Lawmakers from both parties had choice words for the Obama administration’s fiscal 2011 budget request for the Coast Guard at a House subcommittee hearing Thursday.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., called the budget “reckless and unconscionable.”

“To say that I am troubled by what was proposed doesn’t come close to covering it,” he said. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, said that no one on the panel supported the budget.

“I think you will have unanimous support from this committee to restore these cuts,” Cummings said. “We will proceed very methodically, but very effectively and very efficiently.”

The Coast Guard has requested $10.08 billion, down 3.3 percent from the $10.42 billion appropriated for fiscal 2010. The budget reflects a 2.6 percent cut in active-duty end strength, or 1,112 active-duty billets.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles “Skip” Bowen testified at the subcommittee hearing. The hearing also covered the budgets for the Maritime Administration and the Federal Maritime Commission.

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