Republicans have been backed into a corner for blocking military pay, and they have no good answers for why they're harming the troops through their political gamesmanship.
Donald Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney had no real answer when asked why the White House and Republican Party are blocking service members’ pay and benefits during the GOP-engineered shutdown of the federal government.
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced a resolution to ensure that military personnel continue to receive their pay during the shutdown, as President Obama had done during the Republican-led shutdown in 2013.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the measure, which set the stage for Mike Pence to disgracefully lie to troops who are currently risking their lives in the field, telling them that Democrats are to blame for putting their pay at risk.
But that lie was exposed on Sunday morning when Mulvaney was confronted by Face the Nation host John Dickerson about comments he made during the 2013 shutdown, in which Mulvaney pointed out that “our troops are still being paid.”
“I have a much greater understanding of a shutdown now that I’m the O.M.B. director,” Mulvaney insisted, but then falsely implied that military pay was deferred in 2013, as it will likely be this time around.
But Dickerson wasn’t dissuaded. “Claire McCaskill … brought up a vote to pay them while the shutdown was going on,” Dickerson said, adding “That vote Mitch McConnell didn’t bring that up for vote.”
“Why wouldn’t the White House, the executive branch, do everything they can to take care of the troops while this is being adjudicated?” Dickerson asked.
Mulvaney first tried to dodge the question by vaguely referring to other unrelated resolutions that were proposed Friday night into Saturday morning, but finally chalked the blocking of military pay by Republicans to “the sort of the dynamic flow in the Senate.”
Unfortunately, our troops can’t pay their bills with Mulvaney’s excuses.
Hopefully, that failure will lead them to end this shutdown quickly, and stop holding Americans hostage to their destructive agenda.