I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Udall, Bingaman want military paid in event of government shutdown
New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, both Democrats, said today that they want members of the military to continue to be paid in the event of an increasingly likely shutdown of the federal government.
The bill, the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011, has bipartisan support in the Senate and would make funds available for paying members of the military throughout the duration of a government shutdown.
Both Udall and Bingaman made it clear they wished to avoid a government shutdown, but also said that this legislation would be a contingency to help military personnel be paid despite many federal government functions being shut down.
Here is the full statement by Udall:
“A government shutdown would hurt hardworking New Mexicans and jeopardize our economy’s fragile recovery. That’s why I’m urging my Senate colleagues to put aside partisan politics and make a deal before tomorrow’s deadline. But in the unfortunate event that the government is forced to shut down, our men and women in uniform – who put their lives on the line every day for our country – should not have to worry about whether they’re going to be able to provide for their families. With this legislation, we help give military men and women the assurance that they’ll be able to pay the bills during this uncertain time.”
And the full statement by Bingaman:
“A government shutdown would be disruptive to Americans and potentially harm our economy. But it also would hurt the pocketbooks of many families employed by the federal government. This proposal would ensure that the men and women protecting our country and its interests would not be financially punished by a potential shutdown.”
A release by the senators’ offices said that it isn’t clear how the government shutdown would affect military personnel, “but a draft planning memo did mention that all military personnel would be required to show up to work, regardless of whether they would be paid during the shutdown.” (Military Times reported that a copy of draft guidance it obtained said troops would have to show up for work but wouldn’t be paid until funding is restored.)
The latest from negotiations between President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., is that progress has been made but there has been no deal to avoid a government shutdown.