Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gardner urges action to ensure military personnel receive pay even in event of govt. shutdown

With the possibility of a government shutdown just around the corner due to the failure of Senate Democrats to act on spending cuts, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) expressed his concern about the potential impact on service members and military families.

“Unless action is taken to pass H.R. 1 or a similar appropriations measure, military personnel will serve without pay, and that is unacceptable,” Gardner said. “Regardless of which side of the policy debate someone is on, I think we can all agree that the men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way to fight for freedom deserve to be compensated. If someone is killed fighting for this country, that person’s family deserves to be taken care of.”

The current Continuing Resolution (C.R.) is set to expire at the end of the week, and the Senate has yet to take action on H.R. 1, a stopgap measure that would fund government through the end of the fiscal year. If congressional leadership cannot reach an agreement on H.R. 1 or another C.R. by Friday, the government will shut down.

According to the Department of Defense, issues impacting military service members’ financial security would impact the military’s operational readiness. Gardner signed onto a letter this week asking Senate leadership to take action that, according to the letter, will ensure “our brave service members and their families will continue to receive their military pay and that they will not be financially impacted under any scenario.” The letter, addressed to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), is critical of the Senate for refusing to take up H.R. 1, which was approved by the House and contains $61 billion of spending cuts.

In a potential one week C.R. there is language that would preserve military salaries through September, a provision Gardner whole heartedly supports. However, it is still unclear whether that measure will be brought to the House floor for a vote.