The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus -always ready 0 but budget cuts could redefine that. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) said a proposal to cut the coast guard budget by 14 percent would leave it grounded.
"Forty percent of all the Coast Guard activity is here in Florida," he said.
Florida is where they perform search and rescues and drug interdictions: a 14 percent cut is about $1.3 billion of its budget. "You want to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and remove the maritime wall?" Nelson asked.
Nelson is on the Senate Finance Committee and says there is support to block proposed cuts. He said it is not only the Coast Guard, but TSA, FEMA and the National Weather Service. "FEMA, TSA, The Coast Guard these are not places to cut in order to pay for a wall on the Mexican Border," he said.
On the proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, Nelson called it bad legislation. "What's come out of the House is dead on arrival in the Senate," he said.
And that, he said, is not based on party affiliation. "There are eight Republican senators who are saying they will not vote for it, it has to be changed."
He said best practices approach is to fix the problems with the current law. Nelson spoke about the tone and tenor of congress, the most hostile in his 16 years. "It wasn't nearly as in-your-face politics with politics being a blood sport," said Nelson. "It was a lot more bipartisan."