Alexander Part of Senate Effort to Make Sure Members of the Military “Are Paid on the Day They Are Supposed to be Paid”
Posted on September 30, 2013
Says government shutdown should not affect military; calls successful legislation “a step toward reasonableness”
“I’ve spent the last three years fighting Obamacare. I’m not in the shut-down-the-government crowd, I’m in the take-over-the-government crowd. Take it over the way the Constitution says: elect more Republican senators and a Republican president to delay, dismantle, repeal and replace Obamacare.” – Lamar Alexander
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined a bipartisan group of senators in unanimously passing Senate legislation to make sure that if the government shuts down, military personnel will still receive pay as scheduled, calling it “a step toward reasonableness” in the larger debate over funding the government.
“We should make absolutely sure that the men and women of our military are paid on the day they are supposed to be paid, and their spouses aren’t waiting for the check,” Alexander said. “Let’s not run the risk that a single soldier fighting in Afghanistan has a paycheck that is one day late, and the mortgage can’t be paid. This is a step toward reasonableness, and I hope the president signs it immediately.”
Alexander made remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of the military, and joined a group of senators that today successfully pushed the Senate legislation. The legislation would become law with President Obama’s signature, following previous House action to secure payments for the military if the government shuts down. Alexander also supported legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives that would have funded the government while delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate by one year and repealed the tax on medical devices.
Alexander continued, “The House took another step toward reasonableness that the Democratic majority in the Senate rejected. It would have delayed the individual mandate by one year and repealed the burdensome medical device tax that is increasing the costs of life-saving medical devices for everyone and killing good jobs for Tennesseans.”
The senator also said Congress should work to fund the federal government and change the health care law. Alexander said, “I’ve spent the last three years fighting Obamacare. I’m not in the shut-down-the-government crowd, I’m in the take-over-the-government crowd. Take it over the way the Constitution says: elect more Republican senators and a Republican president to delay, dismantle, repeal and replace Obamacare.”
At the White House health care summit in February of 2010, Alexander told President Obama his health care proposal would increase individual insurance premiums for Americans.
Today, Alexander said that in order to gain the trust of the American people, Republicans should continue to offer a step-by-step agenda to replace Obamacare with health care laws that offer more choices and competition and actually reduce premiums for most Americans.
- Make Medicare solvent, so seniors can depend on it to be there for them and their grandchildren.
- Give governors more flexibility with their state Medicaid programs, so they can lower costs, improve health outcomes, and have more money for other programs like education and roads.
- Repeal the medical device tax that increases costs for patients.
- Change the definition of “work week” from 30 hours to 40 hours under Obamacare, or any new health care law, which would give employees the opportunity for a 33 percent pay increase and more options for health care coverage.
- Strengthen innovative workplace wellness programs that empower employees with more incentives to make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Let small businesses pool their resources and offer lower-cost insurance plans for their employees.
- Provide families the opportunity to purchase insurance across state lines, creating greater competition between insurance companies and lowering premiums for everyone.
- Expand access to Health Savings Accounts and catastrophic health insurance plans, giving people more affordable insurance options that fit their lifestyles.
- Incentivize the growth of private health insurance exchanges to give consumers expanded health insurance choices and allow them to keep insurance between jobs.
- Make it easier for patients to compare prices and the quality of doctors and medical services.
- Incentivize states to reform junk lawsuits that drive up health care costs for everyone and are driving medical professionals out of their profession.
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