Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) voted to prevent a lapse in pay and benefits for troops and their families today by funding the Department of Defense for the remainder of the fiscal year. The measure would also prevent a government shutdown by funding other programs for an additional week while saving taxpayers $12 billion.
"Representing more than 80,000 troops, I have seen the sacrifice they and their families make every day in the defense of our country," said Kingston. "They should not suffer for Washington's failure to act nor should they be subject to the whims of political games. I hope the Senate and the President will put aside their differences and join us in supporting this important measure."
The bill passed the House by a vote of 247-181, largely along party lines. It represents the third attempt by House Republicans to avoid a government shutdown and provide funding for troops. Thus far, the Senate has yet to pass a bill. The Administration has offered no proposal of its own though it indicated it would veto the troop funding, calling it a "distraction from real work" in a prepared statement.
Kingston, meanwhile, is continuing his efforts on legislation he introduced with Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that would prevent any disruption in military salaries during a government shutdown. The "Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011," (HR 1297) would authorize the Secretary of Defense to continue providing pay and allowances without interruption to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps who provide service during any funding gap. The proposal has garnered bipartisan support with more than 106 cosponsors.