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Public Statements

Pay Our Military Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

H.R. 3210 is called the Pay Our Military Act, and it's been introduced by Representative Mike Coffman and Representative Louie Gohmert, along with a number of other Members of Congress. The purpose of it is to authorize the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to continue to provide pay and allowances without interruption to the 1.4 million members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the men and women who perform services during any potential funding gap. Without this action, their pay could be delayed.

Our troops should not suffer for Washington's failure to act. As the representative of more than 35,000 troops who are in and out of war zones, I know that they and their families cannot afford to miss one paycheck. Regardless of what happens in politics, we as Democrats and Republicans should be able to come together and ensure that our sailors, soldiers, and airmen are all paid and paid on time.

During the government shutdown in 1995, soldiers were paid because the Department of Defense had already been funded for the year. Their appropriation bill had already been passed by both Houses and signed into law by the President of the United States. That is not the case today; therefore, H.R. 3210 is essential. Not only would it pay our troops, but it would permit the payment of civilian personnel and contractors whom the Secretary determines are providing support to the Members of our armed services.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I can't imagine why Harry Reid and the Senate would shut down all these things for a health care bill called ObamaCare which is raising the cost of medicine and decreasing access to it.

I yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf).

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume just to clarify one thing.

Under the current President, the national debt now is 100 percent of the GDP. For every $1 we spend, 42 cents is borrowed. That's bad enough, but now the President offers no reform to bend the spending curve whatsoever. Instead, he pushes forward a failed health care policy that has a price tag of $1.7 trillion. It does not decrease the cost of medicine, and it does not increase the access to medicine, which were the two primary objectives which we heard over and over again by the other party. That's why we're here tonight. This is one-sixth of the economy. And yet we hear the same dogma over and over again. That's why this debate is taking place.

We have passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded so that these civilian employees and all other government employees that we hear so much about can continue to receive their paychecks. But Harry Reid and the Senate does not want to keep the government open because they're insisting on supporting a $1.7 trillion addition to the national debt, a health care policy which increases the cost of medicine and decreases the access.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry), an Active Duty member of the United States Army who has the rank of colonel.

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 1/2 minutes.

I just want to remind everybody we're here not because of the House Republican Appropriations Committee but because of the Senate Democrat Appropriations Committee which, to date, has not passed one single bill. We've passed the Defense bill. We've passed Homeland Security. We passed Military Construction.

What have Harry Reid and the Democrats, the Members of your party done? Zero. Not one bill. What did they do last year? We passed seven appropriations bills. What did Harry Reid and the Democrats do in the Senate? They passed one. That's why we're here debating the continuing resolution. It is not our desire to be here on this. We would rather have regular order. Indeed, we have worked hard for regular order.

But, Mr. Speaker, I have the honor of representing Moody Air Force Base; the Townsend Bombing Range; the 224th Signal Group in Brunswick, Georgia; the 165th Air Wing in Savannah, Georgia; the Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, Georgia; Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia; Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, George; Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary's, Georgia; and members of the 48th Brigade all over my district. I have marines. I have three Coast Guard stations. On their behalf, we

cannot let their pay be interrupted.

The things that these fighting men and women in uniform are doing for the United States of America should be off the table. That's why we're here in support of this bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. KINGSTON. Reclaiming my time, I would only say this. It's hard to figure out what the United States is doing at all under Harry Reid's leadership.

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, if the Harry Reid Democrat Senate would pass the Defense appropriations bill, we would not be here tonight having this debate.

With that, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Coffman), the author of the bill, a retired marine--although marines never retire.

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