Proposed Coast Guard budget cuts have Florida lawmakers on edge

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As President Donald Trump gears as much as construct a wall, one approach to pay for it might come from slicing funds to the U.S. Coast Guard. However that concept has Florida lawmakers on edge, saying it’s going to harm the state. 

On Friday, News4Jax talked with U.S. Sen. Invoice Nelson, D-Fla., in Jacksonville, and checked with the workplaces of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., to seek out out what cuts to the Coast Guard might imply to Florida residents. 

Because the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy work hand-in-hand right here, each senators are nervous what a 14 % reduce to the Coast Guard would imply to security. 

In response to Nelson, forty % of the Coast Guard’s work within the nation takes place in Florida. Nelson stated plans by the Trump administration to chop the Coast Guard finances would have a devastating impact regionally.

“You need to construct a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border, however you need to take away the maritime wall that we have now, which is the U.S. Coast Guard?” Nelson stated.  

Nelson is not alone in his concern. Rubio’s workplace despatched News4Jax the next assertion: 

Senator Rubio: “I don’t agree with every part that Donald Trump is for, you understand, he’s proposed some cuts to the Division of State and the Coast Guard that we’re going to have a problem with.”

DeSantis additionally weighed in on the proposed Coast Guard cuts, saying in a press release, “The Coast Guard is a essential element of our nation’s protection and performs a serious position in Florida. I help fortifying our border with Mexico; on the similar time, our sea borders want safety and the Coast Guard ably fulfills this obligation. DHS is an enormous paperwork and I am positive bloat exists, however the Coast Guard isn’t an instance of this and must be absolutely funded.”

There are different considerations, as nicely. The Coast Guard is essential in ship inspections, which was evident through the hearings on the sinking of the Jacksonville-based mostly cargo ship, the El Faro. 

Nelson stated he believes these roles may be impacted. 

“Simply consider all the parents that get in hassle that must be rescued. That is the Coast Guard,” Nelson stated. “The Navy arms off to the Coast Guard the duty for the Caribbean, within the southern Pacific, on all of the drug runners and all the individuals which are making an attempt to sneak into the nation. That is the U.S. Coast Guard.” 

News4Jax additionally checked with the Coast Guard. In a press release, it stated it is “engaged in discussions” with the Division of Homeland Safety as a part of the traditional finances course of to finalize the President’s finances request to Congress, and “because the discussions are pre-decisional, we don’t touch upon these deliberations.”

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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