US Coast Guard serving without pay amid government shutdown

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The U.S. Coast Guard is the only branch of the military to report to work without pay during the government shutdown. 

The Coast Guard is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security while the other branches are under the Department of Defense. 

“Hopefully all the service members to save money and prepare for a time like this,” said Shane Witko. “You have to serve. That’s what you signed up for. You didn’t sign up for the paycheck. You signed up for the ability to serve your country.”

Regardless of the shutdown, the Witko family, who live in Elizabeth City, has inserted the 3-month philosophy for the survival of uncontrollable events that take place.

“You have to save enough money to survive for three months if even anything were to go wrong,” he said. “Being in the military, you know sometimes this happens, so you always try and prepare yourself.”

About 44,000 Coast Guard employees considered “essential” will report to work this week without pay. Another 6,000 are furloughed. 

The White House and congressional Democrats are at odds over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall. 

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported House lawmakers are being told not to expect further votes this week, all but ensuring the shutdown will enter a second week and stretch toward the new year.

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