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Public Statements

Unanimous Consent Request -- H.R. 3230

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, the men and women who serve our Nation in the Guard and Reserve shouldn't be impacted by a partial government shutdown.

Recently, the House and Senate unanimously passed the pay our military first act, which was signed into law by the President this past Monday. That bill ensures that Active-Duty military and those who support them stay on the job regardless of the dysfunction in Washington. Congress was right and passed the legislation, and President Obama was right to immediately sign it into law.

Today, the House of Representatives is going to pass H.R. 3230, the Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act. This bill provides funding to pay Guard and Reserve troops who are not currently on Active Duty. Although these men and women currently don't have Active-Duty status, they have regularly scheduled training requirements. They stand ready to serve in overseas conflicts and to respond to domestic disasters if called upon by their country.

These men and women proudly serve this country, and they should not be impacted by spending disagreements in Washington. Today the Senate has a chance to give these individuals and their families greater certainty by passing H.R. 3220, as soon as it is received from the House.

I am sorry to hear that the majority and the President have already indicated they are going to oppose this and that the President has threatened to veto this legislation. I can't imagine that we would not do for our Guard and Reserve troops what we have already done for our Active-Duty troops. I think that is a big mistake.

So I ask unanimous consent that when the Senate receives H.R. 3230, making continuing appropriations during a government shutdown to provide pay allowances to members of the Reserve components of the Armed Forces; that the measure be read three times and passed; and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.

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Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, as the Senator from Illinois has already pointed out, that has already passed in the Senate. What he is suggesting is already in the House, not being acted on.

What the Senate can act on is legislation that is being sent from the House that would ensure that our National Guard and Reserve troops are treated the same way as our Active troops are treated. I think that is only fair and only fitting. These are people who not only respond to domestic disasters but are also involved in conflicts overseas on a regular basis.

So I would object.

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