Rep. Miller urges Senate & White House to get our National Guard and Reserves back to work
October 3, 2013
"Mr. Speaker, this House unanimously passed the Pay Our Military Act, the Senate also unanimously passed this legislation and the President signed it into law. That was three days ago. This legislation guaranteed that all members of our armed forces would receive their pay for their service during any government shutdown. This law also applies to full time Guard and Reserve members. Yet Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has improperly furloughed countless Guardsmen and women across the country in violation of the intent of that law.
"A bipartisan group of myself and my colleagues will be sending a letter to Secretary Hagel demanding he enforce this law properly and send our Guardsmen and women back to work. Today we will also consider legislation, H.R. 3230 -- Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act, that will provide the funding to make certain that Guardsmen on inactive status are paid and allowed to continue to train during a government shutdown. Their readiness is absolutely essential for the protection of our great nation. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is needlessly furloughing Guardsmen and women who are definitely essential to defend our great nation.
"President Obama sent a letter to federal workers telling them they shouldn't be used as punching bags, but that is exactly what his administration is doing to members of our National Guard. This is the same thing this administration did when the sequester was enforced. They immediately shut down the White House to public tours. They scared the public into believing that their travel plans would be interrupted at our airports. They tried in every possible way to hurt and scare the public as much as possible.
"They are once again playing true to form, this time harming our National Guard to make a political point. I know our friends on the other side of the aisle say they will oppose this legislation because they say they need an entire government funding bill or nothing at all. And yet they are calling Republicans absolutists? I would say to my Democratic friends, that we aren't asking you to repeal ObamaCare in order to make certain our National Guard gets paid. We are just asking our Democratic friends to pay the National Guard. Yesterday, I heard some members on the other side, our Democrat friends, say that what we are talking about here is just a fig leaf, or a distraction. I do not consider paying our National Guard a fig leaf or a distraction; I consider our National Guard warriors essential to the defense of this nation.
"Passing this legislation will allow our men and women who serve so bravely in our National Guard to do their job to protect our freedoms."