In light of the impending shutdown (we're getting down to the nth degree here) I thought I'd forgo my next Very Bad Week installment to write about what's a-happenin'.
On one side, I have quite a few military-wife girlfriends whose families are going to be hurting. Not getting paid means their bills don't get paid, their credit reports can be affected, and for some, groceries don't get bought. I've been reading a lot of "well, you should be saving; don't live beyond your means; that's what we do and we'll be fine!" ... which can get a little petty. We don't need to get judgmental about how people are spending their paychecks, especially when they're supporting a family on E-3 pay, and a single income at that, because Wife hasn't been able to work due to not having a portable career or the present job market. This affects everyone differently, and getting snipey about other peoples spend vs. save habits kind of puts you in the "kick 'em while they're down" category.
As for my family, we'll be okay for a while; I'm working, and even though we had to go through a significant portion of our savings because of our unexpected stay in Los Angeles, we won't be in the same financial straits as I'm worried about for some of my friends.
Even though I like my husband getting paid, I'm taking a step back and looking at the issue here. What exactly is Congress getting stuck on? Naturally, both sides, Dems and Repubs, are pointing fingers; Dems are saying the GOP is still trying to stick it to Planned Parenthood (cutting all their federal funding); Boehner denies this is the case.
Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, introduced HR 1297, a bill that, according to Mother Jones "has no amendments, no riders, no pork: It simply mandates that troop pay continue as it normally would, through the end of the year, even if the federal government faces a funding gap and shutdown."
So why hasn't this been brought to vote? It's right there... the ability to pay troops until the end of the fiscal year, whether Congress reaches an agreement by midnight tonight or not, yet Republicans are sitting on this and blaming Democrats for our troops not getting paid.
Well, the House did pass HR 1363, the so-called "Troop Funding Bill" which did essentially the same thing, right? Except, they added a few things to it; namely anti-abortion and anti-environmental riders (cutting funds to the EPA and Planned Parenthood).
Nice to know that military pay is such a valuable bargaining tool, especially for men and women who hardly have to worry about what it means to not be getting a paycheck. We're trading troop pay for women's reproductive rights now. God bless the U.S. S. A.