Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) voted today in support of the Troop Funding Bill (H.R. 1363). If passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the legislation will fully fund the Department of Defense for the rest of fiscal year 2011. The Troop Funding bill would also fund the government for another week, avoiding a government shutdown that will take place tomorrow at midnight if another short or long-term funding measure is not passed before the current deadline is reached. Today's legislation includes $12 billion in cuts that would add to the already $10 billion in cuts approved by the previous two continuing resolutions passed into law. H.R. 1363 is the third bill passed by the House that would fund the Department of Defense through the end of the fiscal year.
Representative Kelly issued the following statement on H.R. 1363, which passed the House by a vote of 247 to 181:
"President Obama called today's measure to guarantee funding for our troops for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 a "distraction.' Tell that to the soldiers fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan, who right now don't know if they will be paid on time so that they can feed their families waiting for them back home. That's a "distraction' that they don't need and don't deserve.
"An Army captain stationed at Ft. Bragg called my office today concerned about what a government shutdown would mean for our armed forces. I told him that today the House voted to stand with him and all of our troops, guaranteeing that, in spite of the games being played in Washington, they would be protected. They protect and defend the homeland every day, the least we can do is protect their paychecks.
"In addition to funding the troops, today's measure also gave the Senate another week to come up with a budget for the rest of fiscal year 2011. It has been 47 days since House Republicans passed the first bill to keep the entire government running through the end of this fiscal year and the Senate has yet to pass its own 2011 budget. Meanwhile, America waits and worries.
"This is a scandalous failure in leadership that is undeserving our great Republic and the people who risk life and limb to defend it."