The Republican-led House on Thursday passed two pieces of legislation that would pay
National Guard and Reserve personnel and fund veterans benefits, respectively, during
the government shutdown. H.R. 3230, the "Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act," passed by a vote of 265 to 160, with 36 Democrats joining GOP members in favor of it, and no Republicans going against it. The legislation would continue "appropriations during a government shutdown to provide pay and allowances to members of the
reserve components of the armed forces who perform inactive-duty training during such period," states the bill's language. The House approved H.J. Res. 72, the "Veterans Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014," by a vote of 259 to 157, with 35 Democrats voting "yes," and no Republicans voting "no." If no other legislation supersedes it, it would remain in effect through Dec. 15. The Senate has not voted on these two measures yet. Thus far, the Democratic Senate leadership has rejected House attempts to push through targeted spending bills to re-open portions of the government while the House, Senate, and White House work to resolve the larger budget issues.
In More Depth
|Gates Versus the Air Force
In his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the Air Force as “one of my biggest headaches”—a perception USAF leaders were never able to turn around during his tenure.
A Systemic Problem
Air Force Secretary Deborah James acknowledged the Air Force does “have a systemic problem” within its nuclear forces, though she said she is confident the mission itself remains strong.
The A-12, Settled At Last
After a 23-year seesaw legal battle in which both sides were at some point “up” by more than a billion dollars, the Navy and its A-12 contractors have put the A-12 controversy to rest with a settlement.