Senator Hutchison Moves to Protect Military Pay During Shutdown

Congressional negotiators continue working to strike a deal that sets spending limits through the end of September, with the threat of a government shutdown looming. Ed Mayberry reports that a Texas senator wants to at least ensure that military pay isn’t halted.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

The Obama administration is warning that a government shutdown will have a broad economic impact — halting the processing of tax returns, reducing access to small business loans and limiting access to government-guaranteed home mortgages. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas worries about paying the military on time, if Congress fails to pass a budget before the April 8th deadline.

“Now we have a situation in which our military — almost 100,000 in Afghanistan (and) 40,000 in Iraq — are now also wondering if their spouses at home with children are going to get their paychecks if we have a government shutdown that will affect their ability to pay their mortgages.” 

Senator Hutchison has introduced legislation.

“I’ve introduced legislation. It is the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011. It’s very simple. It just ensures that in the event of a federal government shutdown — which I do not want to happen and do not support — nevertheless, our military will be paid.”

Hutchison says military families don’t need to worry about their paychecks.

“I don’t want one more minute of stress on our military. The bill is very simple and it is very short and very clear — our military personnel and their support will not be affected by a government shutdown.” 

Senator Hutchison is joined by bipartisan co-sponsors, and is asking other Senators to sign on.

President Barack Obama is warning that a government shutdown would hurt families and halt the recovery of the American economy. Speaking at an event outside Philadelphia, he said a shutdown would keep businesses from getting loans and prevent families from being able to tour national parks. Senator John Cornyn of Texas isn’t sure how this stand-off will turn out.

“I certainly don’t know, and I don’t think any of us know, because it’s in the hands of the President of the United States and Harry Reid and John Boenner. I expect that what might happen would be that the House would simply pass a continuing resolution that would fund our military through the end of the fiscal year, because it’s a heck of a way to fight a war based on a two-week continuing resolution.”

Some government services will shut down Saturday if a deal isn’t reached by Friday.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required