Sen. Cruz Delivers Floor Speech Urging Support for Military, Including Coast Guard, During Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivered remarks again urging his colleagues to support the Pay Our Military Act of 2023 introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). The bill ensures that the Army, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Space Force, and, the Coast Guard would be paid in the event of a government shutdown. In addition to his efforts to ensure our military members are paid in the event of a shutdown, Sen. Cruz published an op-ed in Stars and Stripes in support of his legislation, the “Pay Our Coast Guard Act.”
Sen. Cruz has also requested that his pay be withheld during the shutdown. Read his letter requesting this here.
During his speech, Sen. Cruz said, “I have in writing instructed the Senate that I will not accept the paycheck so long as our active duty military is not being paid. It is wrong. Senators are paid $174,000 a year by law. The Democrat leadership who stands up and says, ‘I object,’ is telling a 19-year-old woman on a nuclear sub right now, defending our nation, that her paycheck doesn't matter anymore. …And so, I'm going to suggest to the reporters who aren't here and aren't covering this, that so long as Democrat leadership keeps blocking what has been bipartisan unanimous legislation previously that every Democrat Senator ought to be asked, ‘Are you taking a paycheck?’ Come 12:01am on Sunday.”
Watch the speech here.
See the full transcript below:
“Mr. President, at the opening of her remarks, the Senator from Washington said, ‘I agree with the objective of this bill. I agree with what Senator Sullivan and Senator Cruz are trying to accomplish.’ Then she talked for a while and then she blocked the entirety of the bill. Everything. And in between saying, ‘I agree with this bill,’ and the two magic words at the end of her remarks, ‘I object,’ I have to admit brought me back to Saturday morning cartoons and watching peanuts and the teacher going want want want want? Because they were words, but that didn't mean anything. This is a binary choice. At 12:01am on Sunday, are Soldiers gonna get paid, yes or no? Are Sailors gonna get paid, yes or no? Are Airmen gonna get paid, yes or no? Are Marines gonna get paid, yes or no? Are members of the Space Force gonna get paid, yes or no? Or Coast Guardsmen going to get paid, yes or no? A decade ago, every member of this body voted to pay them. Since this debate began, the presiding officer had been Senator Kelly has now been replaced by Senator Murphy from Connecticut. I would point out Senator Murphy voted yes, to pay our active duty military in 2013. And yet, now, the Democrats are blocking those paychecks. Senator from Washington said, ‘Well, gosh, the Democrats have a CR that you could have voted for.’ The Senator from Washington knows fully well, that the bill drafted by Democrat leadership is not going to pass the House of Representatives. She knows that the result is going to be a shutdown. And what's changed from 2013 to now? From 2013 to now the Democrat leadership is perfectly willing to hold a young man or woman in the military to hold their paychecks hostage. Well, something interesting is going to happen at 12:01 am, 35 hours from now. Paychecks of every federal employee will stop. The paychecks of the stenographer who's recording my words will stop. The paychecks of the clerk sitting down front will stop. But you know what, Mr. President, there are 535 people whose paychecks will not stop. Under the Constitution. Members of this body senators and members of the House, their paychecks can't stop even during a shutdown. Which means at 12:01am on Sunday, every Democrat Senator will keep drawing their paycheck, while the people risking their lives to defend us will not. Well, I'll tell you, Mr. President, I have in writing instructed the Senate that I will not accept the paycheck so long as our active duty military is not being paid. It is wrong. Senators are paid $174,000 a year by law. The Democrat leadership who stands up and says, ‘I object,’ is telling a 19-year-old woman on a nuclear sub right now, defending our nation, that her paycheck doesn't matter anymore. There's right now a mom in tennis shoes serving in the military who's discovering that her mortgage payment - she doesn't know how to pay. And so, I'm going to suggest to the reporters who aren't here and aren't covering this, that so long as Democrat leadership keeps blocking what has been bipartisan unanimous legislation previously that every Democrat Senator ought to be asked, ‘Are you taking a paycheck?’ Come 12:01am on Sunday. They're the ones objecting, they're the ones stopping. And every soldier needs to understand why are you not being paid? Because the Democrats objected every sailor needs to understand because the Democrats objected. Every Airman, every Marine, every Coast Guardsmen, every member of the Space Force when your paycheck goes away 35 hours from now, it is because of two magic words. The Democrat leadership has said. Let's be clear it's not just the Senator from Washington she's doing it on instruction from the Democrat leadership. They could change it like that. And I can tell you this, Senator Sullivan and I are going to keep coming back over, and over, and over again, because there's not a member of this body that wants to go home to your state. Even a state like Connecticut. You don't want to be at home looking at active duty military and saying yep my party took away your paycheck. That's too cynical even for this body. So, I pray that common sense comes back. I yield the floor.”
Read the Pay Our Coast Guard Act op-ed here.