Updated information from the website of House Representative Louie Gohmert :
House Republicans Introduce Bill to Pay Military During Government Shutdown
Washington – FOX News
Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces and military civilians who support them still have to show up to work even if the government shuts down next Friday, inspiring lawmakers to find a way to pay them minus a Defense Department operating budget.
According to a senior defense official, active-duty military would be required to work since they are considered “essential government personnel” exempt from a shutdown — as are military civilians acting in support of U.S. operations and activities like those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Jack Kingston of Georgia said Friday they want to make sure the troops get paid for their work even without a new funding measure in place.
“We’ve got people standing up and protecting us,” Gohmert said. “The last thing they should have to worry about is if their paycheck gets to their account on time.”
Congress is working on a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. It has passed six continuing resolutions to keep government operating at 2010 levels, but the latest CR expires on April 8, and lawmakers have expressed little interest in passing another temporary extension.
The Republicans said that by moving on the bill, Congress would ensure that members of the military would not be used as “political chips or pawns” in the ongoing spending debate, which has centered on whether to cut $33 billion — the Senate Democratic proposal — or $61 billion — the House Republican plan — from the remaining unfunded fiscal year budget.
Gohmert said the proposal should serve as a wake-up call to leadership in both parties to get something done.
Without an exception, service members would get back pay in full once an appropriations bill or continuing resolution to allow temporary funding is passed.
As reported in The Army Times:
If government shuts down, so would troop pay
Posted : Friday Mar 11, 2011 12:08:58 EST
U.S. troops could be required to report to work without pay if a budget clash in Congress results in a government-wide shutdown, according to draft planning guidance circulating in the Pentagon.
A shutdown could happen as early as next week, as the government is set to run out of money at midnight March 17. A bill that would keep the government operating temporarily has been prepared in the House of Representatives, but it is not clear when or if it might pass.
The government has been operating under a series of temporary appropriations, known as continuing resolutions, since Oct. 1 because of lawmakers’ inability to agree on how much money to provide federal agencies. Budget discussions have become increasingly complicated since the November general elections resulted in a divided legislature, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate.
When the government was shut down in 1995, military personnel continued to report to work and were paid, but the planning guidance sent to the services and defense agencies says a shutdown this time will be different.
“All military personnel will continue in normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with exempt or non-exempt activities,” says the draft planning guidance that was prepared for the services and defense agencies. “Military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service.”
This is a breaking story. The article was written to inform the troops about the last shutdown which was averted by a Continuing Resolution, but it is still relevant as a new shut down looms on Friday 3/8/11. We are researching trying to find out why this shutdown would be “different” in respect to military pay and will report our findings ASAP.
It is important to note that against their stated commitment to draw a line in the sand and demand concrete action for an actual budget for the remainder of the fiscal year rather than the 2 week CRs (of which there have been 6 to date) the Republicans have prepared and presented a CR which would avert this crisis for the Military. At this time the Democrats have not addressed the bill.
We must not allow the Democrats to use our loyal, sacrificial military men and women and their families as pawns in their game of budget bingo. Our fighting men need to know that their countrymen, their nation will make sure that their families are taken care of and provided for while they are in the field of battle.