Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has introduced legislation today aimed at making sure that “military personnel continue to be paid in the event of a government shutdown,” according to a press release from her office.
The Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act would “make available the necessary funds to prevent an interruption in pay for members of the military if there is a funding gap resulting from a government shutdown.”
Additionally, a provision is included to give the Secretary of Defense the discretion to allow those who serve as DOD civilians or contractors in support of our men and women in uniform to continue to be paid as well.
The Defense Department has yet to establish concrete guidelines as to how a possible shutdown would affect service members’ pay, but a draft planning memo did mention that all military personnel would be required to show up to work, regardless of whether they would be paid during the shutdown.
The lead Democrat cosponsor is Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and the lead Republican cosponsor is Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). Other cosponsors include Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).
Update (4/7): Hutchison’s office says this bill now has 44 Senators supporting it.
Update (4/8): There are now 60 Senators supporting this measure. Further updates here.