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Newport Coast Guard Helicopter funding looks promising – not a done deal, but close

Coast Guard rescues along the coast and at sea.
Ken Gagne photo

Encouraging news out of Washington DC that a two year extension of funding for the Coast Guard rescue helicopter base at Newport Airport has been approved by a vote of both Democrat and Republican members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The vote is but another step toward ultimate approval by the whole Congress.

The Coast Guard budget, like all other federal line items, must be reconciled in both the full House and Senate before the final version heads to the White House for signing by President Trump. But of course, anything headed to the White House these dayw is not a done deal until the ink is dry. But even then…we never know. American government has never seemed so “iffy” in recent history.

Hopefully we’ll get another two year extension. To be sure, a critical life-and-death service such as the Coast Guard helicopter should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan or presidential politics any more than police and fire protection services in Newport should be subjected to the chopping block every two years.

Old Chinese Curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

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