Coast Guard Sees Another Budget Delay for Polar Icebreaker Program

The U.S. Coast Guard expects another delay in its $750M polar icebreaker program after the Department of Homeland Security failed to secure full funding for the 2019 fiscal year from Congress, USNI News reported Wednesday.

This week, the Senate approved a continuing resolution that would only provide funding to the government through February of next year. The decision puts the Coast Guard under extended 2018 funding levels rather than the requested 2019 budget that includes funding for the service’s icebreaker program. The Coast Guard originally planned to buy its first icebreaker in FY19 to replace its aging heavy icebreaker already approaching the end of its service life.

Officials said the funding delay comes as the new appropriations bill for the DHS prioritized the construction of President Trump’s border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The Senate version of the bill only provided funding for border security enhancements, while the House reduced money for various DHS programs including the icebreaker to provide $5B for the wall. 

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