The House and Senate are considering comparable Coast Guard funding bills for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct 1 and extends through next Sept. 30. The Senate measure, S. 1129, would authorize $21.1 billion and also would cover appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Ark., it now pends before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up H.R. 2518 on May 24. Sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the bill authorizes $19 billion for Coast Guard operations alone. VA Secretary David Shulkin also voiced his support. “It’s common sense – we need to hold our employees accountable for their actions if they violate the public trust, and at the same time protect whistleblowers from retaliation,” Shulkin said.