Tester backs bill to protect troops’ pay during government shutdown

Senator’s legislation would ensure paychecks for troops if federal government shuts down

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today backed legislation to ensure American troops on active duty continue getting paid if the U.S. House of Representatives shuts down the federal government.

The government will shut down if the House fails to agree on a budget by midnight Friday.  Troops on active duty would no longer receive paychecks during a shutdown, but would still be required to report for duty. 

Tester’s bipartisan measure would ensure continued paychecks for those troops.

“Congress has a duty to ensure that the folks putting their lives on the line for our freedoms don’t have to worry about something as simple as getting a paycheck to take care of their families and pay their bills,” Tester said.  “Montanans expect us to work together to cut spending, and pass a budget that doesn’t put our economy on life support.  But if the House fails to do that, I’m fighting to make sure our troops aren’t the ones left holding the bag.”

Tester noted that he heard this week from a Montana soldier deployed in Afghanistan.  The soldier told Tester that a shutdown would hurt many of his fellow soldiers who have financial obligations such as mortgages, childcare, and car payments.  Tester has also heard from a number of spouses of deployed Montana service members who have deep concerns about the impact a government shutdown would have on their family finances. 

A copy of the bipartisan legislation is available HERE.

Tester last week called on the U.S. House of Representatives to approve his plan—already passed by the Senate—to prevent members of Congress and the President from getting paid if they fail to pass a budget and shut down the federal government.