Just in case Republicans close down the government over the Affordable Care Act, they are seeking to protect military personnel with a bill to keep salaries flowing despite a locked-down government.
Congress has until midnight on Monday, when the fiscal year ends, to pass a bill to fund the government. After that deadline current appropriations expire and new ones need to be set, a task that has not yet happened.
The bill will also guarantee that civilian employees of the Defense Department and contractors for the Pentagon who “are providing support to members of the Armed Forces” will also continue to get paid.
The proposal, which was sponsored by Representative Mike Coffman of Colorado, could go to a vote as early as Saturday night in the House. Afterward it will need to go to the Senate for approval.
“Our troops should never pay the price when Washington can’t settle its disagreements,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner Republican from Ohio.