Sen. Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz attempted to pass the Pay Our Military Act of 2023 on the Senate floor Wednesday, but the legislation was blocked by Senate Democrats.
Authored by Sullivan, the legislation would ensure America’s military service members — Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and Space Force — are paid in the event of a government spending freeze, which is characterized as a government shutdown on Sunday. The military will continue to serve but pay will be delayed until the dispute over spending is resolved.
Prior to requesting the legislation be passed by unanimous consent, Sullivan delivered remarks on the Senate floor, saying that before the last full government shutdown in 2013, Democrats and Republicans had come together to unanimously pass similar legislation.
“There is precedent–very strong precedent–on this very bill, this commonsense bill that has historically received the strong support from both sides of the aisle and in both Houses,” Sullivan said. “Facing an imminent government shutdown in 2013, which ended up lasting 16 days, this bill, the Pay Our Military Act, was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and unanimously by the U.S. House and signed by the President. Congress recognized then the importance of uninterrupted military pay for our military members and their families.”
“The political makeup, actually, was the same. You had a Democrat in the White House. You had a Democrat-controlled Senate, and a Republican-controlled House. So it is simple. While I urge my colleagues to put aside their differences and come together in a spirit of unity to support this bill, I am a little concerned. . .
“I sure hope that we can do that again, and I sure hope people who want to try to use the military as political pawns leading up to a shutdown are not going to be tempted to object to this bipartisan, much-needed bill that 10 years ago had the support of everyone.”
Senator Sullivan also vowed to try and pass the Pay Our Military Act again in the near future.