Senators push bill to continue military pay during shutdown

Two senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would keep paychecks coming to members of the military in the event of a government shutdown.

The bill from Sens. Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (D-Colo.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranAn unlikely bipartisan solution on energy and taxes Alexander struggles to find health-care breakthrough Overnight Tech: House Intel to release Russian Facebook ads | Trump tweet on NBC draws backlash | Senators want answers from alleged robocall king | Twitter reverses on Blackburn ad MORE (R-Kan.) would allow service members to be paid during a shutdown and also allow paychecks to be sent to civilian employees in warzones or “doing jobs critical to supporting military operations.”

The senators introduced a similar bill in January.

The Pentagon said this week that military pay would be delayed if the government shuts down. Service members would continue to go to work in a shutdown, along with some Defense Department civilian employees who are deemed essential.

They would receive back pay once the government is funded again.

When the government nearly shut down in 2011, there were also legislative attempts to continue paying service members in a shutdown. 

Republicans in the House passed a bill in 2011 ahead of the possible shutdown that would have paid the military, but it was rejected by Senate Democratic leaders due to riders on the bill, according to Military Times.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few ready to vote against it Anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis to seek reelection in Kentucky MORE (R-Texas), who has led the effort to defund ObamaCare in the continuing resolution (CR), suggested on Friday that the House should pass a military-only funding measure in response to the Senate stripping out the ObamaCare language from its bill to fund the government.