VIDEO RELEASE: Sen. Hutchison and Rep. Gohmert Urge Congress to Ensure Military Pay
Click here to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5N9U42Dik0
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01) held a press conference today urging Congress to adopt legislation that would ensure that military servicemen and women receive their pay in full, regardless of whether a budget deal can be reached. There is no precedent as to what would be paid out of the federal government’s ongoing cash flow in the event the debt ceiling is not raised and the federal government’s borrowing is exhausted.
Below is a transcript of Sen. Hutchison’s remarks, or to watch the full video, click here.
Sen. Hutchison’s Military Pay Press Remarks:
Good afternoon. I am here with my colleague from the House, Louie Gohmert, to talk about the Ensuring Pay of our Military Act of 2011.
Louie Gohmert has led the effort in the House and I led the effort in the Senate in April, when we were looking at a continuing resolution and a possible government shutdown, to ensure that our military families did not have to worry about a paycheck that would come late. It protected all active duty men and women and those in the Coast Guard and reserve components that are on active duty. Unfortunately, we now are three months past and it is an even more serious crisis looming.
Our legislation is supported by 80 co-sponsors in the Senate, and what it basically does is to say that if there is a shutdown, of any kind in the government, that the military or active duty protecting our country will be paid. Now, I’m not here to say that we are going to have a government shutdown. But I am here to say that they shouldn’t worry about it. They should not be looking at the debate going on, knowing that there is a looming deadline on the debt ceiling and thinking “Am I going to get my paycheck? Am I going to be able to pay my mortgage?”
So this is not an issue that is about whether or not we think there is going to be a lifting of the debt ceiling. The issue is they shouldn’t be thinking of it right now. They shouldn’t be thinking about it in a week. They shouldn’t worry for one minute, particularly the families who are at home and their loved ones who are in harm’s way.
When we introduced our bill, we got the support of the Military Officers Association of America, the American Vets, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and a grassroots effort that started a Facebook group, that the military families started that now has over 1 million supporters. As a member of the Senate Military Family Caucus, I am happy to have the support of the National Military Family Association on this issue.
I think that today, we are facing a real crossroads in our country, and it is my hope that we will take the steps that will get our fiscal house in order. But regardless of what happens, I want to ensure that whether it is right now or three months from now when something else might happen, or even the Appropriations Bills haven’t passed, that we go to the end of this year assuring our military that they will not have to worry about not getting a paycheck, and missing a mortgage payment, or something that would hurt them. I just want to welcome my colleague from the House, Louie Gohmert who has been a solid leader on the House side, and I think if we can ever get these bills to the floor then there will be no question that they will become law. I think they will pass both Houses of Congress, and I think the President will sign the bill and our effort now is to get the bills on the floor so they can be passed.
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