In the face of a potential government shutdown, a congressman has introduced legislation to ensure that United States troops continue to be paid in the event of a shutdown.
Though Congress is expected to pass a spending measure to keep the government up and running, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado introduced the Pay Our Military Act in an effort to ensure military personnel get paid even if a budget does not get passed in Congress, The Hill reports.
“Our soldiers, airman, sailors and Marines cannot go on furlough, so it is inexcusable for them to go without pay in the event of a government shutdown,” Coffman said in a press release.
Congress is expected to pass a spending measure on Sept. 30 which would keep federal funding, including that for Planned Parenthood, at current levels. Conservatives are expected to be unable to get enough votes to block the measure.
The speculations about a potential government shutdown come after conservatives in Congress repeatedly called for all federal funding to Planned Parenthood to be cut off. The calls to defund the women's health care organization were spurred by the release of falsified videos filmed in secret by an anti-abortion group.
The group claims that the videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the illegal sale of fetal tissue leftover from abortions, though an independent analysis has proven that the videos were deceptively edited.
If the stopgap spending measure fails to pass, the government will shut down at 12 a.m. on Oct. 1. The Pentagon has informed troops that they would not be paid until Congress appropriates funds for their payment, but that they must continue working as normal should a government shutdown occur.
Coffman's bill would ensure that civilians and contractors working for the Defense Department to support service members also receive payment.
“As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I understand how important it is for our service members to focus on protecting us and our nation and not on whether they can keep food on the table and the lights on at home,” Coffman said. “Paying our military should not be a casualty of left or right squabbling.”
A bill similar to Coffman's was passed in 2013 for the previous government shutdown.