Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. I certainly thank my colleague for yielding the time.
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, just 3 days ago, this House unanimously passed the Pay Our Military Act. The Senate unanimously passed the same bill, and the President signed it into law.
That was 3 days ago. That legislation guaranteed that all members of our Armed Forces would receive their pay for their service during any government shutdown. And that law also applies to full-time Guard and Reserve members. Yet Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has improperly furloughed countless Guardsmen and -women across the country, in violation of the intent of that law.
Mr. Speaker, today, a bipartisan group of myself and my colleagues will be sending a letter to Secretary Hagel demanding that he enforce this law properly and to send our Guardsmen and -women back to work.
Today, we will also consider legislation that will provide for funding to make certain that the Guardsmen on inactive status are paid as well and allowed to continue to train during a government shutdown. This readiness is absolutely essential to the protection of our great Nation. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is needlessly furloughing Guardsmen who are essential to defending our great Nation.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, President Obama sent a letter to Federal workers telling them they should not be used as punching bags, but that is exactly what his administration is doing to members of our National Guard.
In fact, this is the same thing this administration did when the sequester was enforced.
They immediately shut down the White House to tours.
They scared the public into believing that their travel plans would be interrupted at our airports.
They tried in every possible way to hurt and to scare the public as much as possible.
And they are once again playing true to form, this time harming our National Guard to make a political point.
Now, I know that our friends on the other side of the aisle say that they're going to oppose this legislation because they say that they need an entire government funding bill or nothing at all. And yet they are calling Republicans the absolutists. That's what they're calling us? Seriously.
I would just say to my Democratic friends that we aren't asking you to repeal ObamaCare in order to make certain that our National Guard gets paid. We are just asking our Democratic friends to pay the National Guard, for goodness sake.
Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I heard some Members on the other side, our Democratic friends, say that what we are talking about here is just a fig leaf or a distraction. Mr. Speaker, I do not consider paying our National Guard a fig leaf or a distraction. I consider our National Guard to be warriors essential to the defense of this Nation.
I would urge this House to pass this legislation that will allow our men and women who serve so bravely in our National Guard to do their job and to protect our freedoms.
I urge a ``yes'' vote on the rule and also the underlying bills.
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