Congressman Fights His Party to Protect Military Pay
With the threat of another government shutdown looming, the topic of military pay is once again making the news. Thankfully, the last two times the issue came up, a shutdown was avoided and military servicemember’s pay was unaffected. However, the real issue is the threat continues to cause undue stress on military servicemembers and their families.
Earlier this year Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) introduced the “Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011” to make sure that pay for military members is never used as a bargaining chip. His bill currently has 203 co-sponsors representing members from both parties. However, his bill has been languishing in the Armed Services Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“The military ought to be off the table. They should not be one of the poker chips to try to vote for a bill they otherwise wouldn’t vote for,” Gohmert said.
In an attempt to force it to a vote, Gohmert has circulated a discharge petition which requires 218 signatures. This is highly unusual and a politically risky move for a member of the majority party. Gohmert said he’s willing to risk future appointed positions in the conference in order to get a vote on the bill.
Gohmert’s bill would take leverage — the equivalent of political blackmail — away from both parties and the administration, which is why it is currently not getting to the house floor for a vote.