Targeted Approach

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.