A rescue helicopter flies alongside the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut. (August 29, 2011)
AUX Steve Lee

Government workers will miss their second paycheck this Friday as the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history continues. Congressmember Salud Carbajal met with Coast Guard personnel this weekend to discuss how they’re being impacted. Coast Guard service members are among the 30,000 federal workers in California who are furloughed or working without pay. However, they are the only members of the U.S. military going without pay. “On top of that, the Coast Guard station crew are not getting paid meal and housing allowances,” said Carbajal.

The congressmember sent a letter to President Trump last week, urging him to end the shutdown. “The Coast Guard is continuing its critical life-saving and national defense missions, but they are now expected to conduct these missions without pay, food [allowances], and housing allowances,” he wrote. Servicemembers spoke candidly about fears regarding missing mortgage payments, being evicted, and the impact missing payments will have on their credit, said Carbajal. “They conduct dangerous day-to-day missions, and they’re not 100 percent, with this on their mind,” said Carbajal. Military personnel are still being deployed without pay to support anti-smuggling in Central and South America, Carbajal said.

Carbajal described the shutdown as “unconscionable” and a threat to national security. He called the recent proposal offering three years of protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protection Status in exchange for funding for the wall a “sham.” “We don’t give in to these types of tactics,” said Carbajal. “If we give in to childlike tantrums, what will it be next week? Next month? It’s no way to govern.”

The shutdown is hurting a lot of people and putting national security and Americans at risk, said Carbajal. “Join me in telling the president to open up the government. Speak out, organize, march!”

Federal employees affected by the shutdown can receive free food from Foodbank of Santa Barbara County from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday at its warehouse locations in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and at the Federal Correctional Staff Housing Training Center at 242 Oakridge Road in Lompoc. The City of Lompoc has offered extensions on utility payments, and federal workers can call 2-1-1 to receive information about other local assistance.

Editor’s Note: This story was corrected January 24. The food distribution location in Lompoc is the Federal Correctional Staff Housing Training Center at 242 Oakridge Road.


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