Not nearly as bad as the Nautical Institute, and with NI we have absolutely no recourse.
The USCG is much faster than NI. If one uses a good license consultant that knows which magic words to quote from which regulations, and who to speak with in the proper language about problems, things flow more smoothly with the NMC. Of course we can also complain to our Congressman about the USCG. A Congressman won't do much about one complaint, but he will react to a dozen complaints.
Sooner or later some deprived mariner is going to file a class action lawsuit against the NI in a US court. Its going to be interesting to see what a US court does with that.