American soldiers have been thrown into the middle of national debate amid the government shutdown. As the Boston Globe explains, active-duty personnel will continue working during the shutdown, but will only be paid through Feb. 1. Should the government remain shut down after that time, work will continue as scheduled, but this time without pay. Active-duty personnel would only see their wages again once the shutdown ended or if President Trump decided to cover their pay.
Until action is taken one way or another, several congressmen have expressed that they will forfeit their wages while the wages of active-duty personnel hang in the balance. Others have decided to donate to charity.
Here are a few legislators who have publicly expressed their intentions:
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) also expressed in a letter that she did not agree with the legislation that allowed congressmen to continue receiving pay during a government shutdown. She too asked for her pay to be withheld.
Though Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of not caring about service members, he is the one who can decide whether or not they see their salary. As explained, President Obama signed legislation to continue paying those in uniform during the 2013 government shutdown. Similarly, Trump holds the power to exempt certain government services from Congress’ recent actions.
‘‘Not only can the president decide who or what is an essential activity, the president can change his or her mind anytime,’’ clarified Stan Collender, who, according to the Boston Globe, is a federal budget expert with Qorvis MSLGroup. ‘‘In the past, every president has exempted the military, for obvious reasons.’’