The Washington Post reports that

...Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) made an effort shortly after midnight to get the troops’ salaries and death benefits paid through the shutdown.

“I want to make sure that tonight we send a very clear signal that we don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do for our national security,” McCaskill said, calling for a resolution to pay the troops.

McConnell scuttled the effort, objecting to her motion.

The resolution in question concerned passage of H.R.1301. Why did McConnell not bring it up for a vote?

2 Answers 2


His objection was on the grounds that he was expecting a quick resolution to the government shutdown. As he said on the floor of the Senate when Ms. McCaskill's resolution was made [1]:

We passed similar legislation during the government shutdown back in 2013. My hope is that we can restore funding for the entire government before this becomes necessary. I'm going to object for tonight but we'll discuss again tomorrow. Therefore I object.

It sounds like he is open to the idea of revisiting this if the government shutdown becomes a protracted affair, but that it's not necessary yet.

[1] Senator McConnell Objects Military Pay Prevention, C-SPAN.

Text of objection may be found in the Congressional Record, January 19, 2018.


Basically, there are a lot more public-relations consequences to "not supporting" the military.

If McConnell allows that provision, and the military is specifically funded, then it makes it a much easier decision for someone to hold out and not compromise on a continuing resolution.

Kind of a double-edged sword, though. McConnell forces Dems and any stray GOPers to have to deal with the fact that the military members are not being paid because of the impasse, which will bring pressure on them. The Dems now get to claim that they tried to fund the military, but McConnell, specifically, wanted them to go without. Since McConnell is the GOP leader in the Senate, in a Senate election year, it becomes "the Republican Party/Senate" when ad time is bought in the fall.

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