Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Troop Pay Protection Act. It is one of the bipartisan pieces of a very partisan puzzle, and it is common sense.
We owe it to our Nation's troops to avoid their suffering from the consequences if the House of Representatives shuts down this government. If we don't pass this measure, while we still have time, our troops will continue to serve us overseas--they will always be essential to the United States--but they won't get paid. That is unacceptable.
America's troops are America's heroes. They are serving us in difficult, dirty, dangerous conditions. They are away from their families, they are away from their homes and their communities, and they are risking their lives to answer the call of duty. Yet they still have the same financial responsibilities we all have here at home. They have mortgages to pay and car payments to make. They have families to take care of. We do our service men and women right by passing this bill.
The bill simply says: If there is a shutdown, don't make our troops pay the price for the failures of a few extremists in Washington, DC.
Make sure their paychecks come in on time. Delayed pay is the last thing the members of our military and their families should be burdened with.
I know there is talk that the House is trying to push through something similar, in an effort to cover some bases, but their plan isn't as straightforward as this bipartisan bill. Their plan to hold our troops harmless is part of a week-long spending measure loaded with a bunch of extreme provisions this country cannot afford. Because it is part of a temporary bill, if it is passed, we will be right back here making the same arguments next week.
I am always amazed at how dysfunctional this process can be. I have been reminded of that a lot this week. Here is an opportunity to throw some common sense back into the mix. I ask my colleagues to pass this measure and pass it now.
With that, I yield the floor.