Pentagon Preparing for Possible Government Shutdown

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Army and Defense Department are preparing for the possibility of a partial shutdown of the government on Oct. 1 if Congress fails to provide appropriations. “The notion of another government shutdown is not something that is not a very pleasing prospect for this building,” said Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook. “We have, unfortunately, gone through this before.” A partial shutdown “will not serve the needs of the men and women in the U.S. military and the civilian workforce,” Cook said. “We feel very strongly about the need to get budget certainty going forward and really call upon the Congress to try and reach a resolution.” Without providing details, Cook said the Pentagon is “conducting the prudent planning that would be needed in the event something like that happens. We do have some experience.” As a general rule, soldiers and top civilians report to work even if an appropriation for the military has not been approved. On the first day of a shutdown, all workers generally report for at least part of a day, with nonessential workers tasked with taking necessary steps to prepare for programs. A short-term shutdown would not interfere with soldier’s pay. The end-of-the-month pay would go out on Oct. 1, as usual, because it would not be affected by a shutdown. If a lapse of funding extended through Oct. 15, some legislative action would be need to guarantee soldiers would be paid. “We are taking some prudent steps behind the scenes,” Cook said.