Efforts to Protect Military Pay Stalled

September 23, 2011 | Terry Howell

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.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about this issue.

Comments

  1. Finally, a politician that knows what the people want. Here's to a long career for those who support our men and women in uniform!

    • DISABLED VETEREN says:

      AMEN…I AGREE TO USN PO1 IS COMMENT. IF THIS PERSON IS TRULY SERIOUS ABOUT IT, I SAY LETS US SIGN THE BILL, AND STOP USING THE MILITARY AS A "POKER CHIP"….I SEE YOUR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND RAISE YOU "????????" ALSO THEY NEED TO STOP USING THE VETERANS AS A POKER CHIP AS WELL. WE WORKED HARD AND DESERVE OUR PAY.

    • Mary Anne Breazeale says:

      He is from my home town, his dad is a family friend..very honest, from the the heart man..He prays for our troops and this country..study more about him..and you will see the man we need in the White House…

    • Michael (Ret Army) says:

      I agree, and if they are late pay us why can we charge them 3% for late payment. If you're charged by late fee or by your creditor than the politician should have to pay twice the amount to us.

    • Remember folks, we all should vote. For one I am tired of the BS from our elected officials. I personally rerfuse to vote for any incumbent regardless of party affiliation. Just think if we voted to move new folks in and get rid of the same ole same ole, it would not be the end all. Don’t tell me there would be problems. There are enough good people still in positions that would prevent any major problem. Imagine our government being run by people who are not swayed to vote for special interest groups and not embedded in cliquish partisan politics. Just once, maybe, common sense would prevail and there would be actions taken for the people and by the people not the beaurocrats.

  2. DISABLED VETEREN says:

    ALSO STOP USING THE VETERENS AS A POKER CHIP, THE MILITARY AND VETERANS PAY NEEDS TO STOP BEING BROUGHT UP IN THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. FIND SOMEBODY ELSE IS PAY OR FIND ANOTHER WAY TO GET THE MONEY.

    • csm retired Ira says:

      Let congress pay up as a poker chip (that will never Happen) I suppose we will not get a cola raise again. Oh well that will be three years.

    • I AGREE WITH YOU IT SEEMS THE RETIRED AND DISABLE VETS, AND
      ACTIVE MILITARY PAY AND BENEFITS SHOULD NOT EVEN ENTER INTO
      THE EQUATION WHEN TRYING TO BALANCE A BUDGET. IT SEEMS WE HAVE BECOME THE FIRST THING THEY TRY TO CUT. WE MAY HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE SOME CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT IN 2012 IF EVERY
      BODY REMEMBERS WHAT AN ORDEAL THE LAST 4 YEARS HAVE BEEN FOR ALL THE MILITARY. WE ALL MUST VOTE THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION OUT AND ELECT SOMEONE TO LOOK OUT FOR US.
      ONE THING IS FOR SURE WE ARE WITHOUT A VOICE IN PARTS OF THE
      COUNTRY. WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO LET OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS KNOW HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THE MATTER, DOES IT REALLY MATTER TO THEM? THERE'S VERY LITTLE CHANGE.

  3. Please God let this get passed I am tired of worrying every time there is a shutdown (or a potential one) about whether or not i am going to get paid so I can feed my 10 month old! The men and women in uniform don't deserve this kind of abuse. If you can't keep your hands off our benefits, pay and retirement get out of politics and especially out of the white house! When it comes down to it we make up just about 1% of the population…. Find someone else to pick on!

    • Roland Wade says:

      Ma'am this is the problem if it was up to God we would be paid unfortunately. It is not it is up to Politicians. God would never treat a loyal servant of his to the suffering we have been asked to endure over the Years.

  4. STOP USEING MILITARY PAY AS A POKER CHIP.

  5. ALL OUR GOVERMENT DOES IS SPEND AND SPEND. THEY SEND TONS OF MONET OVER SEAS AS AID ECT. WHILE AMERICANS STARVE AND GO HOMELESS. ( TAKE CARE OF AMERICA FIRST )…… WE THE TAX PAYERS CAN NOT AFORD THIS KIND OF WASTEFULL SPENDING……

  6. I don't understand why the president is blamed. Congress controls the purse strings. The President has threatened to veto any bill that would hurt the troops.

    • There is plenty of blame to go around, but the Prez is the top-most administrative offical in the government and CinC of the armed forces. As Commandaer-in-Chief of the Armed forces, the Prez should stand up for his troops and throw his entire weight behind this bill. We expect our Commanders to stand up for us, and to not do so shows an immense lack of leadership.

    • Really… Have you seen what he wants to do to military retirement in order to protect his sorry butt due to his overspending? You really think he's for the military? Yea…About as much as Clinton was.

    • but the president gives the official ok to do so…that is why he must take part of the blame if he would cut the his pay and all of the politicians pay and then they would see how the little poeple of america lives my husband is a US soldier and everyone thinks that the military has it made sometimes we do til stupid people want to take their pay and we have to suffer take the pay of our soldiers and see where this country will be they will stop fighting and just WONT GIVE DAMN ANYMORE!!

    • The President has threatened to veto any bill that would hurt the troops.

      But he also wants to raise tricare cost for our retired servic members starting at $200 more next year. how much will he try and raise it in 2013. Don't you think that will hurt the troops. And its his idea.

  7. I would like to see the list of House members who have signed and who haven't. That would tell you all you need to know.

    • Yes, and then contact the others and get them on the move to help. This is simply ridiculous… again. Thank you to the Texas Representative :)

    • I usually don't post to these sites. I made a post at the bottom but am replying to you specifically to answer your request. Bookmark the following link. It allows you to check the status of any bill in Congress including cosponsors. The bill is HR 1297 http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php

      • along with this we ought to eliminate defined benefit pensions and lifetime medical care for congress. they neveer took a bullet for anyone and yet they say we are overpaid. next time there's a terrorist attack, call the tea party qand the Speaker of the House lead the charge.

  8. Just what a combat participant needs to worry about. Whether or not a paycheck will be there for themselves or their families.

  9. Go to house.gov and find the bill or call Louie's office and ask them for the number of the bill. HR something.

  10. So taking this one "poker chip" off the table makes the congress work better? First of all, i am not a poker chip, and frankly, it seems that by keeping the military poker chip on the table as a tool appears to give us more leverage and power to make congress sweat and do thier job. Why would you want to make it easier for Congress to stall and not take action. Very shortsighted!

    • T J Handsome says:

      Our pay should never be attached to another bill that has nothing to do with the military.

    • Really…have they done their job? Looks to me like they just keep putting a bandaid on it and stalling. It's not forcing them to do anything except keep jerking us around. Take military out of the equation…should never have been there to begin with!

    • SSgt Mike
      Let’s make this so called "poker game" a little more just. I say we add the Congressional pay and Commander in Chief's pay so that we are all vested in the game so that we are "all in" instead of exempting oneself from the game before gambling with our military pay. Just saying!

    • ROBERT A. LACROSS says:

      Mike: I think it is quite obvious why they need to quit using the military as a poker chip.You may be a SSgt and would not be affected by the delay! After 20+ years in the USAF and retired, I am still appalled that our government cannot get past first looking towards the military for the bucks. However, all should realize that a VAST majority of our Reps and Senators NEVER EVER served in the military. Hence, they do not know a damned thing about living on the edge from payday to payday. My best to all military.

  11. jack Leishman says:

    We live in a land of freedom and justice because of our brave military that have fought to protect our shores. Keep them out of worries way. Get it done now! How soon they forget why they even have a congressional position.

    • USA MSG (Ret) says:

      IDIOT; Evidently you have never served, and don't know anything about those of us who protect the very freedom which allows you to express your stupid ideas.

  12. Eldon White says:

    Why would any young person in this country want to join the military to serve and protect this country with their lives, when this country get in trouble the first person that they look at to screw is the military!!!

  13. Jimmie Gatlin says:

    Most of these jerks in the house have never served a day in the military. They
    don't have the slightest idea what it takes to live from paycheck to paycheck
    and especially what it takes to face an enemy thats shooting at you. They should look at their own health and retirement plans and compare. They also
    need to stop all foreign aid. If this country goes down, can anyone name a
    country that is going to send us aid?

    • rocky acton says:

      An old vet is replying ro you…..using the military is a very old ploy. Aid to foreign counries is another. Consider this, instead of a poker cgip think of it as a chess game. When it suites the politicans they move certain peices to the front…, i.e. social security, healthcare, etc. Thank you for your service

  14. The US Military – always the scapegoat until needed….

  15. The Chinese will come to our rescue. Who else would buy all of their manufactured junk? Their growing economy depends on us continuing to buy their cheap goods. They can't afford to see us collapse. Why do you think they have loaned us so much up to now?

    • Daniel, what does Chinese coming to our rescue have to do with our military getting paid. The Chinese do not care about what the US military troops feel. They have a very intricate/complex plan that is meant to destabilize United States government and undermine its interests. That's a completely different subject than us in military getting paid.

  16. Army Soldier says:

    Amen eldon white, I just like to know if cogress’ pay is going to be affected the same way mine was back in feb.

    • they should cut their salaries and benefits the same percentage they cut soldiers, sailors, marines, airman and policemen .and firemen might as well throw in teachers too. most of them owe 60 k for school

  17. Bill Spencer says:

    How many elective officals have served their country on active duty. Life is not easy for those who spent 20 years or more in service of their country

  18. Regina Johnson says:

    DISABLED VETEREN : I agree we should not be a poker chip; I gave thirty years of my life; like many others and regardless active or retired we should never hap to worry about wether we are going to get paid.

  19. SGTofMarines says:

    I agree. The men and women of this country volunteer for the military to protect and serve this great nation. All the while knowing the pay is decent at best but they still serve. Pay stoppages are hands down unacceptable and shouldn’t even be part of the equation.

    I too also agree that congress and the like should take cuts to their benefits first and foremost. Really? 2-4 yrs of “service” an they receive full benefits for life? UNSAT. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Top all of this off with the gov’t considering slashing of retirement benefits and it really has me seriously considering walking away from the military with 10 yrs already served.

    Semper Fidelis (wish the gov’t had the same mentality)

    • 2 years of service gets them nothing. They need 5 years to vest, which gets them 8% of their final 3 years pay at age 62. They also don't get medical benefits until they qualify for retirement, and then they pay for them too.

      Oh, and they pay for these privileges (FERS retirement, SS, and FEHBP medical care).

  20. You can use this link to check the status of any bill in Congress. There is a tab that lists cosponsors. The bill is HR 1297 and currently lists 203 cosponsors http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php

  21. chuck johnson says:

    EVERY TIME THIS COMES AROUND THE FIRST THING TAHT COMES TO DC IS GO AFTER THE MILITARY SOME ONE HAS TOLD THEM THAT WE GET ALL THE BENN FOR NOTHING. JUST THE OTHER DAY I WAS IN THE GROCERY LINE A ND A WOMAN BE HINE ME SAID YOU WOULD NOT BELEVE ALL THE FREE THINGS THAT THE MILITARY GET. –I HAD A SHORT CHAT WITH HER–I AM 100% DESABLE AFTER KOREA AND VIETNAM I HAD A BALL OVER THIER. I TOLD HER.

    • give her some post traumatic disorder. that's free. then let's see if she thinks you get too much

    • Military wife says:

      I bet that was a real short chat! Would have loved to of been there just to see her face!

    • Good on you. I mean, yes we get paid, yes we get BAH, and we get healthcare. We get enough so that we never have to worry about our loved ones back home or our own well being when serving on the frontlines. But we don't get more than that. There was a study recently that military retirees tend to have a shorter lifespan just because of the stress. In the civie world, some of us could be making absolute bank, but we choose to serve. Our long term bennies and assured security are in my opinion, worth more than being out there making bank and hoping you stay employed while saving every scrap you have in case of the worst.

  22. I am the spouse of a deceased, retired 33 yr. veteran [who served in Korea] & get small compensation as it is, without paying extra for Tricare. What are widows like me supposed to live on when they are through with us?

  23. Barbara Lopez says:

    My husband served 27 years in the Army and he was off fighting wars and keeping down disturbances most of the time he served. Now he is 100
    % DISABLED AND THEY THREATEN THE MILITARY AND VETERANS WITH NO PAY OR CUTTING THEIR PAY EVERY TIME THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO BALANCE THE BUDGET. They should take congress and senate's pay since they don't work at their jobs like they should . The President should also forfit his pay , I thought they should not get more pay than they was earning before they got elected, but they get in and waste all of the taxpayers money and fill their pockets as full as they can before they get ousted. They shouldn't get retirement, medical or security once they are out of office, which I believe should not exceed 4 years max.This is just my opinion but I bet a lot of other taxpayers believe the same as I do.

  24. Retired Vet 2 says:

    Please pass this bill and stop holding the military and retired Veterans as hostages to the politics. We signed of the dotted line and took an oath to support and defend the constitution of this great country. Many of us have done so with pride and honor and some made the ultimate sacrifice. So please, support and defend us as we support and defend you.

  25. I agree with a comment posted earlier, that although this is a good gesture it will only harm those we are fighting to protect, "friends and family." My reason for saying this is that once the Military is removed from the bargain table pressure on Congress will not be as effective and the Gov't. Shut-down would have more of a chance of occurring. Those that cause this will not be effected, but the majority of citizens, once again our "friends and family", that has no say so on the matter will be the ones that feel the pinch. We in the Military have a strong backing by the citizens of our country and they will not stand to see us get screwed over in that way, this I strongly believe. So the Military being used as a "poker chip" I believe will force the Government to work harder and more effectively to come to a resolution in future gridlocks, as they know if we were to not be paid the American people would not stand for this and there would be serious ramification. As a Military Officer who has endured from the Rank of PFC I understand that every paycheck counts, especially it being on time or early if possible. I also know it’s one more sacrifice I am willing to make for the good of my neighbors, friends and family!

    • I was just wondering if you were in during the Clinton year when they were forcing people out left and right. We had aircraft falling out of the air because we didn't have the people or the parts to maintaine the aircraft. Where was our good civilian friends then. When we lose our pay or get no raise or you get a 401K instead of a retirement, I will look forward to hearing your coments then. Good Luck with your Faith in the people and congress.

    • Retired Vet 2 says:

      I guess you still have a lot to learn. Most of the people making decisions for this country have never served so do you think they really care about the military (they don't have a &^@&!ng clue)? Do you really think they care if they get re-elected, hell they have a petition for life for serving one term, do they go through what we have gone through? HARDLY? Open your eyes and get a clue! One other thing, they stop military pay, as an officer you better start looking for ways to feed your enlisted AND their families! I retired after 28 years, enlisted and dam proud of it! My motto "take care of your people!"

    • I too like many am also military going on 23yrs, times are tough for everyone everywhere. Congress authorized and over spent the money and continues to overspend in essence creating these blundered dilemmas…putting our pay on the table may have "some" influence but it will not stop the elected "educated" politician from over spending the money again coming back to where we are over and over….You really want to influence the table of reason, then put the politicians money/paychecks on hold until resolution comes to light, then let us see how effective congress works!

    • Perry,

      I was in during the Carter days and it was very bad for all ranks in the military. My bank would not even give me credit for my pay check until it cleared. There was nobody that cared about us then and it would be the same today, but only that there are more vets to take care of their own. We remember!!

  26. Good for Rep. Gohmert. If I lived in Texas, I'd vote for him. Finally, a politician taking a stand for what is right…no matter what the cost to him politically.

  27. arthur c fleischer says:

    how can nation survive if the enemy is making evrything for them?

  28. Stephen J Streit USAF Ret says:

    It would be great if us retirees could get a COlA pay raise. The last one I rceived was back in 2008. It will be nice if Congress and Washington could get their financial house in order and not spend more than they make or take in.

    • all the more reason why i think it won;t be too long before there is an american revolution just like in libya and egypt. The american people can't take much more.

    • Just look up "Occupy Wall Street." People are tired of the money problems and citizens not having a say in anything.

  29. Another example of how many in our current administration our out of touch with the military. Regardless of what they say (in an effort to pump up poplularity polls), what they go back in their office and do could be different. Remember the age old adage, what you do and what you say are two different things. I am tired of the current administration, personally. How many times does this need to happen?
    I believe the top three things that are ruining are country at the moment are:
    3) Drugs
    2) Poor Education
    1) Corruption in Office

  30. Trouble is that they think they own us as a corporate pawn and they beleive htat they have full control over us. So when if the people or veterans do protest any animosity against the status quo, they can count on calling the troops out to exact some punishment on us. Worse yet, they feel that they have foreign troops as backup in case the troops fail. That's troubling too:-*(

  31. you wanna cut something. Cut the foreign aid. We wonder why everyone else is ok, and america is struggling. Cut them out and we will be fine

  32. Kaiser Soze says:

    I just read the text of the bill at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.12

    If passed, it would only be in effect until the end of the year (Dec. 31, 2011).

    In my opinion the bill should be rewritten to get through the next election cycle, or better, through the projected withdrawal of Afghanistan. Hopefully, we can get things in order by that time, or at least be on the path.

    A measure of this type should be passed, but half measures that only last a few months are disingenuous and counterproductive in my opinion.

  33. I think all veterans and active duty military personnel from all branches of service should gather as one and file a class action lawsuit against all members of CONGRESS. They are not earning there pay. They do not put there lives on the line. Think about about. What we need is a petition signed by all all us. We all need to kick them out of CONGRESS.

  34. I am the wife of a disabled veteran who served 23 years on active duty and I think it is disgraceful that our government is always wanting to dip into what little bit the brave men and women of this country make, active and retired. It is time they live on what they expect us to live on and then have the nerve to threaten not to pay us at all. They have taken most everything else they promised when these men and women signed on the dotted line. You make it a career and we will take care of you with your retirement and medical for the rest of your life. Now all they can do is try to figure out how to take more of what they have already taken. I agree with the person who said quit sending our tax dollars to other countries and take care of our own. They are discussing closing veteran homes in the next 2 years. How heartbreaking is that? These men and women made the ultimate sacrafice and now they want to kick them to the curb. How much lower can they go. Its time to get rid of this entire administration and get people in there who understand and are willing to do the right thing for all military personnal and their families. We have to take care of them with our outrageous tax bills every year, it time they take care of us.

  35. Here we go again! They are all running around with their heads cut off screaming, and pointing. Not thinking. Where are the heads of our country? When the chips are down, the Military is being used as a poker chip? What kind of strategy is this? Chess, poker, next its–checkers? Congress!— You need all your pieces! your marbles! your people! your family! your sanity! All works together as a strategy! Pay your people!
    Your people and your kingdrom will fall apart in front of you if you don't., and there won't be any turning back, I can guarantee that.

  36. EVERYONE GET OUT AND VOTE IN 2012…….

  37. here we go again,they are thinking about freezing military pay again.nothing better elese todo,Thanks Obama

  38. I am so glad I talked my kid out od joining te military, after the years with Carter it looks like more of the same. When Reagan came along he had one heck of a job pulling us out of the hole Carter dug for the military.

  39. Gomert is a putz who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Sure, THIS bill potentially benefits active duty military….. but Gomert has been a leader in the movement to use anything as a bargaining chip against the possible reelection of Obama. Remember the debt ceiling fiasco? Gomert was one of the cheerleaders for allowing default. The guy is an idiot disguised as a pandering populist……..

  40. WAKE UP !!! THe CIVILIAN army of comrade 0buma is slowly inching its way into existance. Ever so slowly but surely the progressives, et all, are taking small chunks out of our soveriegn national defense forces to create a new civilian force that answers to the UN only and is commanded by 0buma or his predecessor. We are heading to a "mercenary for hire" marxist military.

    • I couldn't agree with you more. It's time we Americans stand up for our rights and freedoms. I am not even sure about the country I fight for anymore.

  41. It looks someone is finally paying some attention. Not like the one member in Washington that says he can't feed his family on $200,000 a year. I should have such a problem

  42. I don't think it will be very long before there is an american revolution, just like Egypt and Lybia.

  43. here are some facts as i see it. first we will never have our pay secured. its a great leverage point, and like being called a racist for not voting our pres in, making sure our military does not get paid is a big no no. second the only pay that will ever be secured is politicians. and third the idiots in washington will not let us go over the deep end. they will however take it to the final few seconds and pat themselves on the back, and vote themselves a pay raise for a "job well done" while a actual budget still remains elusive until the "break" after election season is over. by then it will 6+ months over due again.

  44. "THE AMERICAN WAY"???????????

    GAZ

  45. julian puga says:

    STOP, all unnesesary foreign aid programs and lets take care of our fellow Americans.

  46. Like one of the sayings go clean up your own back yard before you screw with the military. They have enough troubles with out DC, F'n things up. So stop using the men and women in uniform as a poker chip. Cause as people have said the military is volunteery, so the cowards of DC stop trying to screw the military over. unless you want to be deployed your self and have things blow up around you or being shot at. The men and women in uniform have better things to do besides going to a hosile area, and get wounded or killed like going to school and traveling. So ask your self what would happen if the men and women in uniform got tried of all the BS that DC is dishing out and decided to leave, UH. then what.

  47. A revised version of the lyrics of an old Southern song about Confederate soldiers returning from the civil war is appropriate here: "When Johnnie comes marching home again, fuck him! fuck him! we'll give him a hearty welcome then we'll fuck him again, the the ladies they will all turn out and we'll all feel gay when Johnnie comes marching home again.

  48. Shawn McFadden says:

    I fail to understand why the military are being used as a pawn in this manner. The Government should know better than to play this game.

  49. Notice at the bottom of the article there is a link that states:
    Let your elected offi­cials know how you feel about this issue.

    Click on the link to let them know you want action on this issue.

    CW3, USA, RET

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