Murkowski Requests President Support Coast Guard Budget

Cuts Would Undermine Protection of US Economic Sovereignty, Border Security, and Rebuilding the Armed Services

With a reported $1.3 billion cut to the United States Coast Guard’s FY18 budget on the line, U.S. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) raised her concerns to President Trump in a letter (attached) about the potential impacts the budget cuts would have on our national security, our economy, and ability to crack down on illegal activity.

“If enacted, these cuts would constrain operational response posture, stop recapitalization programs and severely diminish national security. These proposed cuts conflict with your stated goals of strengthening border security and rebuilding the armed services; additionally, they will negatively impact American jobs and threaten the sovereignty of our fisheries.”

Senator Murkowski explained how the Coast Guard’s physical presence in the Arctic is imperative to protecting our nation’s long-term security.

“The Coast Guard’s role in protecting US maritime borders is particularly critical in isolated places like Alaska. Alaska is strategically located with ready access to and from Russia, Europe, and East Asia. Citizens from those, and other countries, may seek to exploit the US’ natural resources or gain access to the nation through a sparsely guarded, but vast region.”

Murkowski gave further examples of why a budget cut of this magnitude will not only impact American jobs, but directly impact the ability to defend our nation against foreign threats.

“It is my understanding that US and Canadian security experts have identified dozens of emerging threats and law enforcement challenges in the Arctic that must be addressed to prevent terrorism, organized crime, smuggling, and illegal immigration. Many of the most urgent threats originate in the maritime environment specifically under the Coast Guard’s jurisdiction. Any decrease in this key component of the US maritime domain structure weakens the nation’s defenses from illicit activities.”

Background: On Thursday, March 16th, President Trump is expected to deliver his Fiscal Year 2018 budget outline to Congress.