Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement at Hearing on FY 2021 Coast Guard Budget Request
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request for the U.S. Coast Guard:
Admiral Schultz, I welcome you back to appear before the Subcommittee. We are pleased to have you testifying before us today. I’d like to start by extending my gratitude to you and all the men and women of the Coast Guard for your service to our nation.
Through my travels over the past years, I have learned so much about the Coast Guard’s varied, critical missions.
In the FY 2020 bill, I was pleased we were able to provide the Coast Guard with over $10 billion in discretionary funding. This appropriation funded important investments to recapitalize the Coast Guard’s air and marine assets, including four additional Fast Response Cutters, an additional HC-130J aircraft, additional MH-60T helicopters, and long lead time materials for a second Polar Security Cutter. I was also pleased that in our enacted bill, we were able to provide expanded childcare support for Coastie families, as well as new resources for Workforce Readiness and Diversity Recruiting.
Looking at the FY 2021 request, I’m pleased to see continued and expanded investment in Workforce Readiness, new investments in cybersecurity and the Coast Guard’s aging information technology infrastructure, as well as funding to complete the procurement of a second Polar Security Cutter.
Unfortunately, some areas of the FY 2021 Coast Guard request are less promising. It leaves large holes in infrastructure programs and procurement for assets such as the Fast Response Cutter and the C-130.
I also want to take a moment to express my frustration about the lack of complete information we have received regarding funding increases to the Offshore Patrol Cutter program. I acknowledge it is the Department, not the Coast Guard, refusing to give us this information. However, I hope you will relay to the Department the importance of giving us the requested information so the subcommittee will feel comfortable continuing the current procurement path for this important asset.
We look forward to hearing from you today about your fiscal year 2021 request, and whether it would provide the resources you need to support your important and varied missions.
Thank you again for joining us, and I look forward to our discussion.