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Letter to Sec. Chuck Hagel, Dept of Defense - Members of 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB, and Other Michigan National Guard & Reserve Members Furloughed

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today called upon the Senate Democrats and the White House to join the House in making certain our members of the National Guard and Reserve receive their paychecks and get back to work by passing H.R. 3230 -- Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act and signing it into law. H.R.3230 will make certain that members of the Guard and Reserve on inactive status are paid and allowed to continue to train during a government shutdown.

In Michigan, approximately 900 of the state's National Guardsmen and women were placed on furlough yesterday, including approximately 650 civilians and military technicians employed by the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. On Saturday, the House passed H.R.3210, the Pay Our Military Act, which the Senate then passed and the President signed it into law. This legislation, H.R.3210, guaranteed that all active members of our armed forces would receive their pay for their service during any government shutdown. However, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has furloughed members of our National Guard and Reserve across the nation even after H.R.3210 was signed into law. Rep. Miller joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Hagel that he utilize the broad discretion given to him by this law to declare Guard and Reserve members exempt employees and send them back to work.

Additionally the House passed today H.R. 3230, the Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act that would make clear that all National Guard and Reserve Members, whether on active duty or inactive status must be paid:

"Madame Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R.3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act. The first and foremost responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense, that is in the preamble of our Constitution. Since our nation's birth some 237 years ago, the National Guard has been at the foundation of our common defense.

"Since 9/11, we have seen the largest call-up of active service of our National Guard and Reserve since World War II, and they have made up 30% of our armed forces who is in theater. The men and women of the Guard and Reserve have always answered freedom's call with bravery and with honor.

"The enemy and their bullets make no distinction between the regular armed forces and the Guard and Reserve, so it is beyond me to understand why this Congress would do so? We have a duty to make certain that those brave men and women have the training they need to serve in defense of our freedoms, and to make certain that they are paid for their service. Vote yes for the National Guard and Reserve, vote yes on this legislation."

Copy of the letter sent to Secretary Hagel:

Dear Secretary Hagel:

We respectfully request that you use your broad discretion afforded with the passage of H.R. 3210 to ensure that full-time National Guard employees receive excepted status during the government shutdown.

Congress' intent in passing H.R. 3210 was two-fold. First, Congress desired to mitigate the harm to the men and women who have already sacrificed so much for our country caused by the present budget impasse. Second, Congress intended to maintain a level of military readiness.

Our National Guard is a critical component of ensuring that our Nation stands prepared to rapidly confront disaster at home and abroad. That is why we ask that you deem those activated under Title 32 -- Active Guard & Reserve, dual status military technicians, and Active Duty Operational Support -- as excepted employees. Further, we request that those civilian workers who support Title 32 employees in their mission -- non-dual status military technicians and federally reimbursed State civilian employees -- receive this same designation.

We feel that the dual mission of National Guard personnel necessitates that they receive the same consideration as service members and support staff working under Title 10. We thank you in advance for your efforts in ensuring that our National Guard personnel receive the compensation they are owed and rightly deserve for performing the vital services that protect our Nation.

Sincerely,
Candice S. Miller, et al
Members of Congress


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