Military Would Forgo Pay During Shutdown, But Ukraine Wouldn’t

With the federal government on the brink of a shutdown this week, President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have been clamoring for Republican acquiescence on budgetary matters by claiming that Americans would suffer greatly if the deadline passes without a continuing resolution.

Much of that fear-mongering is overblown, however, since essential services would continue during a shutdown, as would payments by Social Security and other federal entities.

Nevertheless, some Americans would be directly affected — including U.S. service members, who, along with other essential workers, would not be paid during the shutdown but would still be required to report for duty.

Defense spokesman John Kirby confirmed that, while men and women in uniform — including reservists — would not receive paychecks during a shutdown, payments to Ukraine would continue unabated.

House Republicans responded to the situation this week by introducing legislation that would ensure members of the military and other Defense Department workers will not experience such delays.

U.S. Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA), a veteran of the Navy, led that effort, explaining on Wednesday: “We put provisions not just for active duty, it’s also for civilians and contractors and for Coast Guard, so that they would get a paycheck no matter what happened.”

The Virginia Republican noted that her party continued to work “hard late into the night” to reach an agreement that would bypass a shutdown.

“But God forbid that doesn’t happen, we need to have … that reassurance for people, a group of people that I care very passionately about and that the country needs to be prioritizing, and that’s our military.”

Despite the potential for temporary pain caused by a shutdown, many prominent conservatives say it would be worth it if the federal government would implement some meaningful cuts to its runaway spending.

“The House Republicans are working hard today to get everybody on the same page, and that is, yeah, we should stop spending all of this money,” radio host Glenn Beck said earlier this week. “What do you say we just start with a few things like, no, the taxpayer shouldn’t pay for abortions and send people on a vacation at our expense.”