The morals of this story are straightforward. President Obama, following on powers presidents Reagan and Clinton exercised in earlier shutdowns, apparently has executive authority to fund the military during any coming shutdown. He doesn't need additional legislation. Since Mr. Obama appears unlikely to exercise his executive powers to pay the military during any shutdown, he should be held publicly accountable if he fails to act. Nonetheless the House GOP leadership should allow a vote on separate legislation, for example HR 1297 with its 113 co-sponsors, to pay the military during any shutdown to remove the issue from the negotiations over the FY2011 Continuing Resolution.
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