Congress can agree on one thing: military will be paid if government shuts down
September 30th, 2013
05:52 PM ET
9 years ago

Congress can agree on one thing: military will be paid if government shuts down

Updated 10:42 p.m. ET 9/30/2013

Washington (CNN) - Despite bitter partisanship that threatened a government shutdown, Congress actually managed to come together to pass one bill on Monday –unanimously, at that.

The Senate signed off on a House-approved measure to ensure members of the military would continue to get paid if congressional wrangling over spending and Obamacare resulted in a shutdown.

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President Barack Obama signed the bill late Monday night.

"Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status.  The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency," he said in a video address that aired after midnight on Armed Forces Television. "If you're serving in harm's way, we're going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions."

The law will shield lawmakers from having to explain why men and women on the front lines would not be paid with federal agencies spending less money or none at all, even as House and Senate members keep getting their checks.

Democrats who control the Senate initially said on Sunday they would not approve a separate bill for the military. But they changed their minds by Monday afternoon, and Majority Leader Harry Reid called for expedited passage.

Senate Republicans on Monday accused Reid of moving pre-emptively because he knew it would be "untenable," in the words of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, not to have the military paid during a shutdown.

Several GOP senators wanted to force the issue in a series of floor speeches that were planned for just around the time Reid cleared the bill.

As it turns out, unanimous votes aren't all that rare on Capitol Hill. So far this year, there have been 36 pieces of legislation signed into law. All but a handful were passed with unanimous or near-unanimous support from both chambers.

Reid's decision on Monday even had Sen. Ted Cruz rising "in praise" of the majority leader.

"For everyone who thinks that compromise is impossible in Washington, I would point to this as an example," said Cruz, the Texas Republican who has led the charge against Obamacare in the Senate.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Robert Yoon contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Military • Senate
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Don in albuquerque

    Gotta keep that war machine cranking at the cost of all else.

    September 30, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. just saying

    so obama lied in his press conference. not surprised.

    September 30, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. The Elephant in the Room

    Oh please.This type of softball response is equivalent to "do you still beat your wife".

    Pro-military, blah, blah.

    I think the Senate should vote, UP or DOWN, on the bill that passed the House. I think the House should vote, UP or DOWN, on the bill that passed the Senate.

    If Boehner wants to be know as an effective speaker like Tip O'Neil was, he will abandoned the so-called Hastert "rule" and bring forth votes on compromise bills starting with the CR. Then imagine what would happen if he applied the same bi-partisan approach to an immigration bill, a tax reform bill, a bill to ENHANCE Obamacare, a JOBS bill.

    He'd get some "conservative" elements included in this legislation [not the over the top, TeaParty Ransom Demands] AND President Obama would back him and twist Democratic arms to accept them. Boehner would go from an limp Speaker to one with legislative accomplishments that voters in his district would laud and which moderate republicans could get re-elected on. The GOP might even take back the Senate if Americans thought they could be trusted to govern.

    September 30, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Guest

    The war machine was never going to stop. I have been assured for days that I still have to report for duty even if I'm not paid. But thanks for being upset that I can continue to feed my family while politicians try to pull their heads out. Appreciate the support, Don.

    September 30, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Anthony in California

    "just saying
    so obama lied in his press conference. not surprised."

    so just saying criticizes the President again. not surprised.

    September 30, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. smith

    Well at least there is some good news coming outta Washington. The members of the military should have exempt from any hint of a shutdown.

    September 30, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Fire all these congress idiots.

    September 30, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. kim

    its a lie they are with holding my pending deposit as a military spouse we have nop ay pending for tomorrow . It wiuld show 1-2 days prior not now. Shame on them while our military is iverworked and underpaid.

    September 30, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. kim

    ts a lie they are with holding my pending deposit as a military spouse we have no pay pending for tomorrow . It would show 1-2 days prior not now. Shame on them while our military is overworked and underpaid.

    September 30, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Michael Benjamin

    The war fighters will be paid. Support for those war fighters are in doubt with this resolution.

    September 30, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. all liars

    We better be getting our money if they are getting theirs. I had to speak another language to ensure I'd get SSD check. Fire all these morons! Why do I sense a riot?

    September 30, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Holly

    This is the very least they can do for our military. They say Congress is exempt because they are essential.....Right. Our military is essential! How about paying our politcians 20,000 a year to start and make them earn a pay increase like the rest of us do. They are nothing more than a bunch of 6 year olds fighting over a toy, they are pathetic. Not at all what should be representing our country. How about putting some business men in office who know how to be sucessful (Romney) instead of a bunch of lawyers, afterall the government is a business.

    September 30, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |