Schatz Fights for Military Pay During Government Shutdown

January 22, 2018, 10:15 AM HST
* Updated January 22, 10:14 AM
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Sen. Brian Schatz.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has called on Republicans to join Democrats in passing the Pay Our Military Act, legislation to continue paying military service members during the federal government shutdown. Senate Democrats requested unanimous consent to quickly pass the bill early Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, morning, but it was blocked by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Sen. Schatz and Democrats have continued to fight for its passage throughout the weekend.

“Our military service members and their families should not be punished simply because this White House can’t get it together to make a deal,” said Sen. Schatz, a co-sponsor of the Pay Our Military Act. “These brave men and women don’t stop protecting our country just because the government shuts down. Those who serve our country deserve the pay they have earned, and I’m going to keep working as long as possible to make sure they get it.”

“Nobody wins in a shutdown,” said Sen. Schatz, “It’s time for us to do the hard work of negotiating and compromise to keep critical government services going. I will continue to work for as long as it takes to solve this terrible problem.”

The Pay Our Military Act would ensure that members of the Armed Forces continue to receive pay and related compensation during the government shutdown. The bill also helps ensure that many Department of Defense civilian employees directly supporting military personnel and operations can continue working and receiving compensation. The bill also provides for death benefits to the families of service members.

Home to the United States Pacific Command, Hawai‘i has nearly 50,000 active duty and reserve members of the military.

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