Sen. Hutchison Urges Action On Bill To Ensure Military Pay If Debt Limit Is Reached

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is urging Senate leaders to allow a vote on a bill she's sponsoring that would keep paychecks coming to servicemembers, in case Congress and the White House aren't able to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling before next Tuesday.  Hutchison's bill is virtually identical to one that earned broad Senate support this spring, but with one additional requirement.

On the Senate floor this morning, the Republican senator said it's damaging to service members in Iraq and Afghanistan for them to worry about whether they'll get their paychecks on time, should the U.S. hit the debt limit.

"We have people in the military with boots on the ground by the thousands that are making under $20 thousand a year.  Now, those are people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck.  They don't have the luxury of having a big savings account."

Senator Hutchison implored Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote on SB 1365.  She says it's just like a bill she introduced in the spring that would ensure military paychecks in the event the debt limit is reached, or the government shuts down.  The key difference is that the newer bill also makes paying interest on the debt a priority.

"Let's assure that our debtors know that we're gonna pay the interest on the debt. And our military who are in harm's way right now, will not worry about their family having the paycheck that they need."

Senator Hutchison, who will not be seeking re-election next year, says her earlier bill had 80 co-sponsors in the Senate, and she believes the newer version would easily pass, should Majority Leader Reid clear the way for a vote.

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