Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Saturday blocked a resolution that would make sure service members are paid during the government shutdown.
While President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are using military pay as a rhetorical pawn to divide the country and put the blame on the Democrats, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the resolution that would guarantee military pay in the event of a shutdown.
“I don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do on behalf of our national security,” she said at the time.
But despite both Republicans and Democrats wanting to move forth with the plan, McConnell immediately objected McCaskill’s resolution.
Will Fischer, director of VoteVets, a military advocacy group, slammed the Republicans for using the military “as a prop” to attack Democrats and then refusing to take action when the opportunity presented itself.
“It gets harder and harder to believe that Donald Trump and the Republicans want anything other than a shutdown, when they make military pay a key talking point, but then block Democrats’ bill to make sure our military is paid, during a shutdown,” he told reporters.
“It’s becoming clear that shutting down the government, and holding people hostage for ransom, is the goal of Trump and Republicans, he added. “There simply is no other reason for Republicans to kill a Democratic measure to pay troops, other than to keep holding our troops and their families hostage. It’s disgusting.”
Minutes after the midnight deadline, McConnell said, “For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay.” He had the chance to pay them, struck it down, and then used them in his attack against Democrats.
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— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) January 20, 2018