Coast Guard funding up in the air

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The president's budget will massively cut domestic spending and bolster defense spending, but one branch of the military is still unsure of where it stands. The Coast Guard funding was left out of the "skinny budget" released Thursday.

US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says the Coast Guard has been historically underfunded.

"You can only do that for so long before you really gut the strength of an exceptionally important agency," she added.

Rumors the $1.3 billion could be cut prompted Murkowski to speak to Vice President Pence Tuesday to discuss this possibility.

"To project that the Coast Guard is not going to enjoy the support of this administration is not a very good message right out of the box," Murkowski said. The senator also sent a letter directly to the president. "This president has said he wants to secure the border. Remember what happens when you put a wall across the land, if we have reduced our strength on the water side. Don't think you have helped the situation," she added.

The Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security. The department got a 6.8% increase. Still, how the Coast Guard's funding will be allocated remains up in the air.

"The administration can be pushed back on with some of these priorities that are important to congressional representatives," said Katherine Blakely of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

In the end, however, Congress holds the purse strings. Experts say it is unlikely the budget will survive in its current form.