WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, (D-RI) the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, along with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, introduced the Pay Our Military Act.

This legislation would ensure that that men and women serving in the Armed Forces continue to receive pay and related compensation, even in the event of a government shutdown.  The bill also helps ensure that civilian Defense Department employees who provide support for our military can report to work and get paid.  And it provides for death benefits to the families of service members killed overseas.

“We are working in good faith to avoid an unnecessary federal government shutdown.  If the government does shut down, Republicans must join Democrats in passing this bill to ensure our troops and the civilians who support them are paid.  Our troops should be able to focus on their mission without worrying about whether or not they’ll get paid,” said Senator Reed.  “This bill would make sure that all active-duty, reservists, National Guard troops, as well as any civilians and contractors working in support of those forces can do their jobs and receive their paychecks.  Congress needs to take bipartisan action to ensure the financial well-being and readiness of our troops and those who support them.”

Under current law, during a federal shutdown, government employees and contractors who remain on the job are guaranteed pay, but not until after the federal government reopens.  Employees furloughed during a shutdown may receive back pay if Congress approves it through a separate bill that is then signed into law by the President.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans have not yet indicated whether they plan to pay workers who may be furloughed and financially harmed by the political gridlock.