by Chloe Fox
Posted: 09/26/2013 6:05 pm EDT
HONOLULU - On Thursday, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced legislation to protect servicemembers and critical Defense Department employees if the government shuts down on Oct. 1. Gabbard, a veteran who served on two deployments to the Middle East, said that those covered by her Military Pay Protection Act (H.R. 3187) would still be paid even if the government shutters. Military servicemembers would still report for duty and would accrue pay, but their paychecks could be delayed.
Gabbard's interest in protecting servicemembers' pay is political as well as personal: Hawaii is home to more than 30,000 active-duty military servicemembers. “Those who are serving and sacrificing for our nation," Gabbard, a Democrat, said in a statement, "should not face uncertainty at home about whether they will be able to feed their families or pay their mortgage.”