Dems open to back clean GOP bill to fund military in case of a shutdown

The U.S. military appears likely to escape largely unscathed from the looming government shutdown.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated Saturday that she has no objection to a Republican bill to fund the military in case of a shutdown. The House is expected to bring up the bill Saturday evening after voting on two healthcare amendments to the spending bill that are dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“The Senate has acted in a clear way to keep government open,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Instead, House Republicans are insisting on not one but two proposals to shut down government.”

The statement does not mention the military funding bill. A Democratic leadership aide told The Hill that Democrats will support it if it's a clean bill that doesn't contain any unrelated cuts to the healthcare law. The bill is also expected to clear the Senate.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a whip floor update that would be the case. The rule, he said, provides for “consideration of a separate bill to ensure that the troops get paid in the event of a government shutdown.”

The bill appropriates funds to pay the military at any time in 2014 when appropriations are not in effect, such as a government shutdown. It also allows the government to keep paying civilian personnel and contractors that the Defense Department deems to be helping the military.

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