Amid shutdown, Coast Guard members go without regular paycheck

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Members of the military are not receiving their regular paychecks because of the partial government shutdown, and their loved ones in South Florida are unhappy about it.

Two wives of Coast Guard members have spoken out and are sharing their stories about what the shutdown is doing to their families.

About 42,000 members of the Coast Guard were informed they would receive a one-time paycheck on Monday. However, due to the shutdown, their pay after that is still uncertain.

It will have a huge impact in South Florida because the Coast Guard station on Miami Beach is a large one, and many families are worried knowing that their subsequent paychecks will likely not be coming until after the shutdown ends.

The blame game in Washington continues over the government shutdown, but it’s not the politicians who are suffering.

Families like Claudia Armas and Laney Pinto’s are scared of the uncertainty. Both of their husbands are in the Coast Guard.

“I want everyone to be aware of that. How much it is impacting a very large community in South Florida,” Armas said.

The paychecks that were scheduled for Monday will not be deposited.

“My situation right now, tonight, is my husband is out on the water, and we know for right now, we are not going to receive a paycheck on the first,” Armas said.

These moms are trying to hold it together at home with no money coming in.

“I take care of my kids. I take care of my animals. I take care of the cars when my husband is gone,” said Pinto. “We take care of everything. We are a one-man band.”

While they’re doing everything they can at home, their husbands keep working with rescues at sea, drug interdictions and the around-the-clock patrols of our coasts.

“Everyone has bills to pay. It is important that we have that stability,” Armas said.

“You know what? We do live paycheck to paycheck,” Pinto said. “Like Claudia said, life happens. My father just passed away two weeks ago. I had to buy a family of four a flight to Kansas where I’m from and be there for my mom. Again, life happens.”

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military whose members are going without pay during the shutdown because they fall under the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense.

Coast Guard families are being told to reach out to their banks to ask for extensions on mortgages and car payments, and families are pooling resources.

“My husband is out working, and he absolutely deserves his paycheck,” Armas said. “It deserves to come because he is out there, and he is doing his job.”

Members of the Coast Guard in South Florida are not the only ones not getting paid because of the shutdown. Other federal employees like U.S. marshals and U.S. attorneys and park rangers are also not getting a paycheck.

After past shutdowns, Congress has always voted to give them back pay. However, with no end in sight for this shutdown, there is no telling when that could happen.

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