James Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1969 and after completing Reserve Officers Training, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1972. He worked his way up in the Marine Corps, eventually achieving the rank of General (4 stars). He retired in 2013 after a stellar career that earned him the nickname of Mad Dog.
Yesterday morning, Mad Dog went before the House Armed Services Committee and before answering their questions, he blasted members of Congress for not passing a budget and leaving our service men and women without pay if the government closes down again, due to the pettiness between political parties.
(The Right Scoop) – General Mattis is testifying before the House Armed Services Committee this morning and he didn’t waste any time in letting them know just how displeased he is that they haven’t passed a budget yet.
In his opening testimony Mattis makes clear to Congress that while men and women are willing to give their lives for this country, Congress is abrogating its constitutional responsibility to provide stable funding:
Up front, I need to note three days from now I will visit our Nation’s first Security Force Assistance Brigade in Fort Benning, Georgia as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan. To advance the security of our nation, these troops are putting themselves in harm’s way, in effect signing a blank check payable to the American people with their lives. They do so despite Congress’ abrogation of its Constitutional responsibility to provide stable funding. Our military has been operating under debilitating continuing resolutions for more than 1,000 days during the past decade. These men and women hold the line for America while lacking this most fundamental Congressional support, a predictable budget…
Did you know that under current law, if the government shuts down, Congress continues to get paid, but the military does not get paid, nor do their families receive the death benefit or military honors if they are killed in action during a shutdown? There should a law that states that any time Congress fails to pass a spending budget that results in a government shut-down that every member of Congress goes without pay, but that all military personnel continue to be paid and receive full benefits if they are injured or killed in action.