LoBiondo Blasts Trump Administration’s Reported Proposed Cuts to Port Security, Coast Guard Operations

Mar 4, 2017

MAYS LANDING, N.J. – U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02), a senior Member of the House Coast Guard & Maritime Security Subcommittee, today blasted drastic reductions in maritime security as reported to be included in President Donald J. Trump’s forthcoming budget proposal.

“We cannot defend our homeland and continue critical security missions without the U.S. Coast Guard. It is as simple as that,” said LoBiondo. “The men and women of the Coast Guard are doing an outstanding job, stretching the limited resources they receive now to keep our waters and ports safe. From traditional search and rescue to maritime security and drug interdiction, there is no other dedicated or capable force as the U.S. Coast Guard. Whomever is advising President Trump that the Service could do more with even less is detached from the facts and reality on the ground.”

According to the Service, from 2002 to 2011 Coast Guard interdictions and subsequent intel resulted in the extradition of nearly 75 percent of all Columbian drug kingpins, including a Honduran drug lord who led law enforcement to the second capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. As reported by Business Insider, Last year, we removed more cocaine than any other year in history — well over 200 metric tons — and by all accounts, it looks like this year we are on target to at least reach, if not exceed, last year’s total," Adm. Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the Coast Guard.”

As reported by various media outlets including Business Insider, President Trump’s budget proposal could include up to $1.3 billion in cuts to the U.S. Coast Guard and its operations. Any potential impacts to Air Station Atlantic City and the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May are not known at this time.

“Let me be absolutely, 110 percent clear – if President Trump seeks to reduce operations and Coast Guard personnel at Air Station AC or TRACEN Cape May, I will do everything in my power, rallying my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation and across Congress, to sink his misguided and dangerous plan,” blasted LoBiondo.

President Trump’s budget proposal is expected to be released to Congress later this month.

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