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Lankford to Department of Defense: Follow the Law, Protect DOD Civilians

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U.S. Representative, James Lankford, 5th District

WASHINGTON — Representative James Lankford (R-OK) joined many of his colleagues today on a letter to the Department of Defense calling them to immediately comply with the “Pay Our Military Act” and return DOD civilians to work immediately.

“The men and women who protect our nation – in or out of uniform – deserve every ounce of support for their mission. National security is an essential function,” Lankford declared. “By unanimous vote, the Pay Our Military Act passed before midnight on October 1 to ensure no active duty service member or DOD civilian would be forced to relinquish their responsibility to protect our nation. I was pleased the President put politics aside for the moment to sign the bill into law before government services slowed.”

H.R. 3210, the “Pay Our Military Act” appropriated the necessary funds to pay members of the Armed Forces, including Reserve and Guard members on active service. Additionally, it provided necessary funds to pay civilian personnel at the Department of Defense and Coast Guard whom the Secretary determined to provide support to members of the Armed Forces under active service.

“The law is clear,” continued Lankford. “DOD needs to stop preventing civilians from doing their essential task. Secretary Hagel has the authority and latitude to bring furloughed civilians back to work and should do so immediately. Our armed forces and civilian support have suffered the most this year during the sequester, and it is essential to protect them during this government slowdown.”