Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, introduced legislation Wednesday that would protect the National Guard from the partial federal government shutdown that began a day earlier.
The National Guard has furloughed 1,000 members in Indiana, including 216 civilian technicians at the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne. Those technicians account for two-thirds of the full-time personnel at the local Air National Guard base, which remains open during the shutdown.
Stutzman's proposal -- the Guard Appropriation Restoration During Shutdown Act, or GARDS Act -- would continue to fund National Guard operations and personnel by amending the Pay Our Military Act, which Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed to exempt active-duty military personnel from the shutdown.
"The men and women who serve in our nation's National Guard and their families should not be victims of President Obama and Senate Democrats' shutdown," Stutzman said in a statement about the impasse between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.
The House is demanding that a federal spending extension delay or defund the Affordable Care Act, the federal health insurance law commonly known as Obamacare. The Senate and Obama have rejected the House spending plans and passed appropriations legislation that keeps the Affordable Care Act in place.
"If Senate Democrats are unwilling to negotiate on comprehensive legislation, let's start with areas of agreement — let's start by standing up for our National Guard," Stutzman said.