CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 the House will consider H.Con.Res.58, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding the need for the continued availability of religious services to members of the Armed Forces and their families during a lapse in appropriations. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and will be considered under suspension of the rules.
H.Con.Res.58 expresses the sense of Congress that there is a need for the continued availability of religious services for members of the Armed Forces and their families during a lapse in appropriations. Specifically, H.Con.Res.58 1) recognizes that the performance of religious services are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution; 2) urges the Secretary of Defense to permit the performance of religious services on DoD property during a lapse in appropriations as it would otherwise; and 3) urges the Secretary of Defense to permit military chaplains and others hired to perform chaplain duties, including contract personnel, to continue operating during a lapse in appropriations as they would otherwise.
On October 1, 2013, a lapse in federal funding resulted in a federal government shut down. As a result, it has been reported that some chaplains who provide religious services to members of the Armed Forces on a contract basis have been prevented from providing religious services during this lapse.