Congress Approves Paying Troops During Government Shutdown

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

Some things are still sacred. Both houses of Congress have passed a bill to allow uniformed servicemembers to get paid in the event of a government shutdown on October 1. Previously, the paychecks of soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors were at risk in the event of an increasingly likely government shutdown. 

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives, however, unanimously passed a bill on Sunday morning approving their pay, and the Senate easily approved it on Monday afternoon. It now goes to President Obama for signature. 

The bill also allows the federal government to pay Coast Guard members, as well as AGR members – that is, reserve component members on active-duty status. The bill also pays select other employees in the DoD and Department of Homeland Security designated as providing services to military servicemembers. 

The bill, dubbed the Pay Our Military Act was sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican and veteran of both the Army and Marine Corps.

The bill had four co-sponsors in the House – all Republicans: Jack Kingston of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tom Latham of Iowa and Jackie Walorski of Indiana. 

Although the President has been disinclined to compromise thus far, with unanimous support in the house and nearly unanimous support in the Senate (the Senate passed it with a voice-vote, so no individuals are on the record opposed), Congress appears to have a veto-proof majority in this particular issue.


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