U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Rand Beers announced today that most of the furloughed U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees will return to work next week. Beers said that the recently signed Pay Our Military Act covers civilian personnel who "are providing support to members of the Armed Forces."
Beers said that the department will "be able to significantly reduce – but not completely eliminate – Coast Guard civilian furloughs under this process."
The Coast Guard has 49,698 employees. It furloughed 5,962 of them, according to Homeland Security's contingency plan.
"We have tried to exempt as many Coast Guard civilian personnel as possible from furloughs consistent with the law," Beers said. "We will continue to try to bring all Department of Homeland Security civilian employees back to work as soon as possible. The Department of Homeland Security is at its best when all our civilian personnel are on watch. Our men and women have devoted their lives to service of this country. Their work on our behalf, and on behalf of the Nation is enormously valuable and critical to the maintenance of Homeland Security over the long term."
The department furloughed 30,846 workers, or 13 percent of its 230,937 employees.
"I will continue to support our entire workforce and do everything I can to encourage Congress to restore funding for the Department of Homeland Security and the entire federal government so we all can get back to work and serve the American people," Beers added.