January 21, 2018

Senate Republicans Block Duckworth Effort to Ensure Military Personnel Receive Pay During Shutdown


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) offered an amendment on the Senate floor today to ensure military personnel receive pay during the federal government shutdown and that the families of servicemembers who are killed in action receive death benefits. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans objected to Duckworth’s request for the Senate to immediately pass the Pay Our Military Act amendment. Video of Duckworth offering the amendment is available online here and for download upon request.

“I implore my colleagues to take action right now on something we should all be able to agree on: making sure this partisan gridlock does not harm the American troops who are holding the line right now to defend our nation,” Duckworth said. “We all agree that our men and women in uniform have enough to worry about without having to wonder whether their paycheck will come on time this month. No military family who is struggling with the utter grief of losing a loved one should have to experience even more pain and hardship. The fact that Senate Republicans would block this bill is simply shameful.”

Duckworth also spoke on MSNBC and CNN about how Congress must make sure servicemembers are not hurt by the government shutdown – and how Republicans should not be holding military families hostage as a negotiating tool.

Senator Duckworth is an original co-sponsor of The Pay Our Military Act, which was authored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and offered as an amendment by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) yesterday. Duckworth sought to pass the Pay Our Military Act amendment by unanimous consent. Her request was blocked by Senate Republican Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).