- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Pentagon warns troops, civilians of its plans for possible government shutdown
Question of the Day
The Pentagon plans to delay troops' pay, furlough about half of its civilian workforce and close base commissaries if Congress does not pass a short-term spending bill this weekend and the government is forced to shut down, according to a Defense Department memo.
About 400,000 civilian workers, including technicians who are not needed for "excepted activities," will be required to take unpaid leave, the memo states. Workers would be issued back pay only if legislation restores it.
For excepted activities, only the minimum number of employees needed for the work will conduct those activities.
Active duty and reserve personnel will continue to report for duty, and may be assigned to take on additional duties in place of furloughed civilians, but would not be paid until funding is restored.
Troops' pay would begin to be affected on Oct. 7 at the earliest, Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale said at a briefing Friday.
"We would also be required to do some other bad things to our people," said Mr. Hale. "Just some examples: We couldn't immediately pay death gratuities to those who die on active duty during the lapse. We would have to close stateside commissaries.
"Promotion boards and other similar important personnel activities would be disrupted, probably have to be stopped, and a number of other actions."
In addition, training and travel for military and civilian employees would be disrupted, he said.
In the event of a lapse in funding, the Pentagon can conduct only activities designed to protect life and property, and carry out a few other activities.
Obama administration lawyers interpret that to mean that the Defense Department can support specific operations approved by the secretary of defense, such as the Afghanistan war.
"We can also maintain emergency services: police, fire, emergency medical," Mr. Hale said.
Excepted activities include military health care and some educational activities, according to the memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
"Your commanders and supervisors will be reaching out to you to provide additional detail on our contingency plans and your status under a potential lapse," the memo said. "These conversations are designed to provide clarity on how a potential lapse will affect you, but they do not constitute an official notice of furlough. Official furlough notices will only be issued on October 1st if a lapse in funding has occurred," the memo states.
Senate-confirmed officials appointed by the president and some of their office personnel are not subject to furlough. Neither are foreign national employees paid with host country funds or governed by country-to-country agreements that prohibit furloughs.
Contractors performing under fully funded contracts awarded before the shutdown may continue to work, regardless of whether the activities are excepted. However, they could be subjected to a pay delay or, if furloughed, receive back pay if legislation restores it.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
- HUSAIN: Worlds grand ayatollahs rally behind Sistani
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors