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November 13, 2020

Chairs Thompson, Maloney, Correa, and Raskin Announce Coast Guard Has Made Sweeping Policy Changes After Joint Committee Report

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security,  Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Chairman of the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, announced that they have received notice from the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant that he has implemented all of the recommendations contained in the Committees’ joint investigatory staff report on how the Coast Guard has handled reports of harassment, bullying, and retaliation. 

In his letter, Admiral Schultz stated that the Coast Guard has implemented these “corrective actions” to address the numerous deficiencies identified in the Coast Guard’s Anti-Harassment and Hate Incident program. 

“We are very pleased that Coast Guard leadership convened a working group and implemented the institutional reforms our Committees recommended,” said Chairman Thompson and Subcommittee Chairman Correa. “As a result of our investigation, we know the Coast Guard faces major climate and cultural challenges and its leadership lacks proper accountability.  The significant policy changes the Commandant has directed are a testament to the bravery of Lieutenant Commander Kimberly Young-McLear and other whistleblowers who have come forward in the face of retaliation. These changes are critical to ensuring that the Coast Guard’s anti-harassment and anti-bullying programs are fair and effective.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Coast Guard to ensure that, as the Commandant has stated, implementation of these recommendations will be just the start of the service’s institutional reforms.”

“Effective anti-harassment and anti-bullying programs are critical to ensuring that Coast Guard Servicemembers can carry out their mission to keep this country safe and secure,” said Chairwoman Maloney and Subcommittee Chairman Raskin.  “We are pleased that the Coast Guard reports it has implemented all of the recommendations set forth in the Committees’ joint staff report.  That investigation followed years of oversight by our late Chairman Elijah Cummings, who strongly supported those serving our country.  We also owe a great debt to Lieutenant Commander Kimberly Young-McLear and other Coast Guard whistleblowers, who bravely came forward to share their experiences.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Coast Guard to hold the service to the high standards that we know we can achieve.”

Background: The Committees’ investigation was initiated over two years ago by then-Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings and then-Ranking Member Thompson, in consultation with Representative Joe Courtney, to examine the handling of complaints of harassment and retaliation in the Coast Guard – including at the Coast Guard Academy, and the Academy’s responses to disparities identified in the Equity Scorecard review. The final report was released in December 2019.

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