The House of Representatives last night unanimously approved legislation to protect the pay of members of the military if the event of government shutdown.
The Pay our Military Act stems from an effort launched two years ago by Reps. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to prevent financial hardship for military families.
"Having the great honor of representing more than 35,000 troops in and out of war zones, I know that they and their families cannot afford to miss a paycheck," said Kingston, who led debate on the measure. "We as Americans should be able to come together to ensure that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are all paid and paid on time. Those who put their lives on the line in defense of this country should not be left worrying whether their loved ones are being taken care of at home."
In addition to providing pay for the 1.4 million members of the military, the measure would continue pay for civilian personnel and contractors determined by the Secretary of Defense as necessary to provide essential support to troops.
The move is necessary because the Senate has failed to act House-passed legislation to fund the Department of Defense through the fiscal year beginning October 1. Current funding levels expire at midnight on September 30.
"It has been nearly 70 days since the House passed legislation to fund the Defense Department and provide for our troops," Kingston said. "Had Harry Reid and Senate Democrats done their job, this wouldn't be necessary at all."
In addition to protecting troop pay, the House approved legislation to fund the government through December 15 while delaying the health care law known as Obamacare for a year and permanently repeal a tax on medical devices that would stifle innovation and kill jobs.