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The House passes a bill which would fund the military through the end of the year; Barack Obama calls it a distraction

April 7, 2011

  When the Congress approved the last stop gap two week budget extension I declared that it was time for the Congress to get down to business and pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. I voiced my displeasure at the Republicans for what I feel is their unwillingness to tackle the budget issue for fear there would be political consequences. I also wrote that this should be the last continuing resolution and that Republicans should be prepared to pass a budget with extensive spending cuts or be prepared to shut the government down.

  As the deadline fast approaches the Congress seems to be at an impasse and in the midst of these negotiations the House Republicans managed to pass a “Plan B” budget in the event that the Congress cannot agree on a long term deal before the deadline.

  This new continuing resolution would include an additional $12 billion in cuts and would also fund the military for the remainder of the fiscal year. Harry Reid has called the bill a “non-starter” and the White House has stated that Barack Obama will veto the bill because he sees it as a “distraction.”

  While I still feel that the time to pass a final budget is now–and still support shutting down the government if necessary–this proposal is certainly interesting. One of the reasons that the Democrats have insisted that a government shutdown would be devastating was the fact that those serving in the military would not be paid during this shutdown.

  Here we have a proposal that would ensure that the military would not fall victim in the event of a government shutdown and the president has gone on record as stating that this is nothing more than a distraction. It would seem to me that if the Democrats and the president truly supported our military and were concerned about their well-being that they would be willing to at least look at this proposal before declaring that they were opposed to it.

  One thing is becoming quite obvious to me with today’s turn of events–the military is being used as a bargaining chip in the budget negotiations and I find this to be quite deplorable. Shouldn’t the option at least be on the table to pass a bill which would ensure that our military still gets paid in the event of a government shutdown? Yet by dismissing this resolution out of hand without at least considering it and possibly whittling it down to the point where at least the military is funded through the end of the fiscal year–even if that means no spending cuts are included in the one week continuing resolution–the Democrats are showing us that they are willing to let the military suffer while they themselves will still be getting paid during the shutdown.

  The Congress should take the time during the negotiations to at least pass a budget for military salaries while they haggle over the other issues and this resolution would have provided the Democrats and the president with the opportunity to do just that. If they were willing to at least look at this proposal the possibility would remain to come to a compromise–remove the spending cuts in return for funding the miliary through the end of the year, we can work on those spending cuts after we are assured the military is funded–and we have been told time and time again by the president that compromise is essential. Yet the president feels as if this is a distraction and he is unwilling to compromise even though this means our troops might not get paid.

  It is obvious that he is trying to use our military in an attempt to strong-arm the Republicans and intimidate them into passing a budget they would probably otherwise be against and I think that our military deserves better than this.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    April 7, 2011 8:02 pm

    According to the White House, military service members would not receive a paycheck during a government shutdown but would be paid retroactively. The White House can ensure this doesn’t happen. The House has passed a CR ensuring it won’t that the President has said he’d veto.

    1. I was on active duty during the shutdown in 95 & President Clinton made sure we were paid.

    2. Michelle Obama has stated that the difficulties military families face are an important issue to her. The service member on deployment doesn’t much care about a paycheck, but the spouse & kids at home sure do.

    I leave it to you to draw your own conclusion.


    • April 8, 2011 6:10 am

      Thank you for your service Mark.
      In 95, all laid off government employees got their full pay eventually. The difference between them and you was you still had to do your job and these people got what amounted to a paid vacation. Let’s hope the government does the right thing in this case.


  2. herringtonjoshua permalink
    April 7, 2011 10:36 pm

    Fuck that. Don’t pay me and I’ll throw on a marine uniform and sneak on the next rotator out this hell hole. I am not about to be here away from my wife if we aren’t getting paid. I signed a contract. A contract that states I get PAID for w…hat i do. Can I do what the NFL does and not work if I’m not getting paid? Why do members on welfare get their paychecks and we don’t? I am deployed. Working for every cent I SHOULD be making. Welfare gets to relax at home While over half of them are drug users and receive their government checks. This is not the kind of country i enlisted to defend. If the shutdown does occur say good-bye to moral. Say goodbye to people giving a shit about their job. No one wants to work for free. And as long as we aren’t no one will strive to do a good job. Say goodbye to people wanting to enlist if they cant be guaranteed a paycheck. If my recruiter had told me there was even a 10% chance I would be told to go overseas and not get paid for it I never would have enlisted. This is becoming less like a volunteer to serve and more like a draft. I have friends back home on welfare. They all smoke weed and don’t want to get a job. they are living fine off welfare and unemployment. Those are the guys getting payed instead of us. We military members make up less than 1% of the… american population. And to pay us to support our families and put a roof over their head, place food on their table, put gas in their cars so they can even GET TO BASE to do their job, while we are deployed is too much to ask? Its ridiculous. A government with priorities like this is not one i want to work for. depending on how tonight goes will drastically change my plans for my future. I will not be re-enlisting if i feel as though i am unneeded and unappreciated. Its utter hypocrisy for these congressmen to state all about sacrifices we americans NEED to make in order to survive this economy. I am fine with that. As long as they feel the hardships too. Tonight Congress decides its future. their decision tonight will have the largest impact on this war since 9-11. We all love our country. And volunteered to defend it because we love it. All we want is the government to respect us, take care of us they way we are taking care of it. But i guess that is too much to ask.


    • April 8, 2011 6:11 am

      Thank you for your service.


    • Mark permalink
      April 8, 2011 9:14 pm

      Don’t lose the faith. Your task is to uphold & defend the Constitution. There are many excellent people in all 3 branches of the government that respect, support & appreciate you. Right now, you have a poor Commander-in-Chief, but you serve an ideal not any one man.


      • April 9, 2011 6:39 am

        Very well put Mark.


  3. April 7, 2011 11:15 pm

    This will backfire on Obama big time.


    • April 8, 2011 6:12 am

      I think it will also, I think he is misjudging the political climate. We sent these people to Washington to cut spending and we will settle for nothing less.


  4. April 8, 2011 3:59 am

    This is the same tactic local governments use to get what they want. They threaten police and fire above anything else to strong arm continuing out of control spending. This scheme will backfire.


    • April 8, 2011 6:13 am

      You are right, they are playing football with our military hoping that one side will cave and I for one think it is disgraceful.


  5. Sean permalink
    April 8, 2011 4:14 am

    They did try to pass a bill a bill funding only the military in the House, however the Republican voted it down in favor of this bill they knew Democrats would not pass in a political attempt to blame the Democrats for this.


    • April 8, 2011 6:13 am

      Then it should be easy to resolve this issue while they work on the budget, let’s hope they stop playing politics wit our military and get something done.


  6. bunkerville permalink
    April 8, 2011 9:33 am

    It Looked like touch and go on the blame game. If Obama does not fund the military then the GOP gets the win. I am concerned that they threw the Planned Parenthood issue in with it. It is being drastically mis-reported by the media, and that was a given. No need to give fodder to the Dems at this time, IMHO.


    • April 9, 2011 6:40 am

      Yeah, it looks like the Republicans tried to go for PP with this move, but perhaps they could have used this as a strating point for negotiations on the military.


  7. April 8, 2011 11:13 am

    Well I suppose the GOP was pretty savvy to float this 1 week CR w/mil paycheck guarantee, and boy I guess Obama sure didn’t want to be manipulated into (gasp) compromise. Cuz compromise is what the right’s supposed to do, not the left.

    So really I gotta admire his willingness to call the GOP’s bluff and say, I don’t care about your little ploy to protect military paychecks, thank you very much.

    Perhaps it’s easier to risk coming off so cold and heartless, when you know the MSM will cover and spin for you.

    Still, I can’t help thinking . . . if only the GOP was just as willing to risk looking cold and heartless.

    That Joshua Herrington commenter sure brings up a good point. If they actually allowed active duty members to skip even one paycheck, even if paid at a later time, what will that do to initial enlistments and re-ups? Sakes, the job/paycheck security is one of the major lures that the military has to offer.


    • April 9, 2011 6:43 am

      That is a good point; perhaps it is easy for Obama to make a decision like not funding the military because he has the media spinning the issue and providing cover for him instead of getting tough on him like the should.


  8. herringtonjoshua permalink
    April 9, 2011 8:13 am

    My only fear now is that Americans as whole will forget how Congress and the President used the Military. We were used as a bargaining chip. Out here you heard more complaints about the lack of respect than you did an individuals LES. I’m deeply upset with their actions and it will reflect on who I cast my vote for next election. I never joined for a paycheck. You simply can not treat your own military in such a way and not expect to pay for it.


    • April 9, 2011 8:26 am

      I can assure you that there are many Americans out there who will never forget this and we are going to do our best to make this right again in 2012.


      • herringtonjoshua permalink
        April 9, 2011 8:46 am

        Oh believe me. I may be a kid. But I have been around long enough to witness this time and time again. I alread have overheard several military members out here state “Who cares? I’m getting paid.” Americans today even with so many resources such as a vast amount of News Networks, The Internet, and unlike many other countrys no cencorship. (at least not openly) However, even with all this Americans today do not want to do research for themselves. They will jump on and support whoever SOUNDS like they know what they are talking about. Americans LOVE fox news for the simple fact that they report “news” that sounds like what they want to hear. I use to find it mind boggling that the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin had network television shows. But then again, Snooki from Jersey Shore has a New York Times Bestseller… People care more about Lindsay Lohans latest court date then their troops overseas. Call me crazy but i believe most americans have already forgotten about 9/11. When a news station stops reporting news and whats going on in celebrities lives and their rating go up because of it. That is when I lose faith for our future as a nation.


      • herringtonjoshua permalink
        April 9, 2011 8:58 am

        For one reason or another I did not see the word “never” in your reply. However, I believe my post still holds valid points.

        Also, Thank you for what you do. I have been trolling your blog for the last few hours and really enjoy it. Good work sir.


      • April 9, 2011 7:51 pm

        A little misreading is no big deal, I have done it myself on occasion. But you are right, you made some great points. I also fear that people care about Dancing with the Stars and American Idol more than they care about politics or the military and I find this to be troubling.
        And you should not be thanking me, it is I who should be thanking you. For it is because of you and people like you who are defending my freedom that I am able to do what I do. You will never know how much people like you are appreciated. Thank you!


  9. herringtonjoshua permalink
    April 9, 2011 8:19 am

    I never joined for a paycheck. But I would not have joined if I knew that paycheck was going to be used as a pawn in a chess game to move legislature. I feel betrayed by my own government. And so do alot of people. My good friend back stateside is a FAC member at the fitness facility. He is a single father of two and ex military. He wouldnt even get backpaid at all if he had missed work due to the shutdown. But certain members of congress acted like this Was not their issue.


  10. Alicia permalink
    April 9, 2011 8:22 pm

    I AM a military wife & why am I the only seeing that what Obama did was right? Why should we give them MORE time? Obama is not a father, he doesn’t baby congress. The republicans used this as an excuse to cover up the bullshit they were pulling. I am so tired of when a man stands up and acts like a man others try to break it down to make him look like the bad guy. Your all just pissed because he set out to make them agree and he did a damn good Job. Obama is not perfect but we wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for congress. Quit making up lies to gain your party votes.. Your just as bad as a normal politician yourself. This military wife is paid & a deal is done. I am more than happy. Finally these assholes in congress have a president who won’t stand for their bullshit. Like they were gonna shut down the government anyway! Obama isn’t stupid – he knew republicans weren’t dumb enough to let it happen either. Just another scare tactic for their political gain. Bunch of damn children if you ask me – even putting us through this to begin with!!!


    • April 9, 2011 8:39 pm

      First, thank you for the sacrifices that you make as a military wife and thank your husband for me for his service.
      You mentioned that we wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for the Congress and I agree. But you must remember that it was the Democrat controlled Congress (with a super majority) who decided not to pass a budget because they felt it would hurt Barack Obama and the Democrats in the election.


      • herringtonjoshua permalink
        April 10, 2011 10:26 am

        I would like to disagree with you ma’am. I actually voted for Obama myself. Even without a military background I believed that he would still fight for me and the armed forces. (Plus I wanted nothing to do with sarah palin) I support him for alot that he has done while in office. The process with the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy is something I am so glad I got to see. However, I see Congress and Obama’s actions on the budget as a tad ridiculous. I understood his stance on the “troop funding bill” He wanted a actual solution not a temporary fix. However, for many of us going without a paycheck is not a real option. My wife and myself are frugal people. You know lower ranking enlisted personal do not get paid that much. We both share a car in order to save money, We live in an apartment instead of a house to save money, We don’t go out and buy expensive things if we do not need them. We do our utmost to live within our means. Recently, the wonderfull airforce finance had been taking out 600+ from my check for “Food Collection” this debt was completely wrong. In the process of dealing with the Finance office to get that money back I had been using my savings to live. (my base pay is only 750 a check. Bah goes straight to rent. And during this period they had stopped my bas as well) So when we were threatened with not getting a paycheck there was alot of worry. And there are many other military members who do live paycheck to paycheck. Yes, it isn’t the most wise decision for them to do that. But, people do. And for the Commander In Chief to not bend over backwards to make sure we are paid for what we do is a slap to the face. When he tells the military to jump. Noone asks how high. We simply jump as high as possible. I feel he put his agenda before us. I understand the media overplayed the planned parenthood situation. But every lie they tell is based on a nugget of truth. (Unless of course Glenn Beck is reporting the news)

        You also must remember who you are dealing with. The majority of the American population loves to blame someone for the current issues. And most of the time they are going to blame the president. I am not trying to blame the president for all the issues and the whole budget problem. I know he only played a part in it. But, he did in fact play a part.



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