After the president and Congress failed to reach a compromise on funding for a southern border wall, the resulting government shutdown raised the prospect that thousands of federal workers would go an extended period of time without pay.
President Donald Trump reportedly personally intervened to make sure that wouldn’t happen to members of the Coast Guard and their families.
While it’s unclear how the long the shutdown will last, the Coast Guard will at least get its final payment — a $75 million payroll — for 2018, the Washington Examiner reported Saturday.
“The president is trying to make the shutdown as painless as possible for workers, and this case proved it,” a White House official reportedly said.
On Wednesday, Trump directed his administration to investigate the matter, leading the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Homeland Security to determine that government rules mandated payment for Coast Guard members through the end of the year.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) December 28, 2018
As IJR Red previously noted, shutdown negotiations seemed unlikely even as Trump canceled his holiday plans to work on the issue.
I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
Because the military had already been funded through a separate appropriations package, service members were able to continue receiving pay. The same couldn’t be said for Coast Guard members, who were technically not part of the Department of Defense but belonged to the Department of Homeland Security.
Watch footage from when Trump visited the Coast Guard last year in Florida:
As the Examiner noted, the service was able to find enough money unused from its previous continuing resolution appropriation.
In a press release on Friday, the Coast Guard reassured its members that they would receive payment on Dec. 31:
The Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Coast Guard have identified a way to pay our military workforce on Dec. 31, 2018. This one-time action applies to military members that served on active duty in the month of December and those reserve military members that drilled prior to the lapse in appropriation.
The Coast Guard noted, however, that it couldn’t guarantee another paycheck on Jan. 15, 2019.