Showdown Over a Shutdown
If the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill fail to agree on a temporary spending deal by Monday, the US government will shut down for the first time since 1996. Click here for complete coverage.
The Pentagon is bracing for a governmentwide shutdown that would potentially force troops to work without a paycheck and send thousands of civilians home until Congress reaches a new budget agreement.
Defense Department spokesman George Little said Monday that the White House Office of Management and Budget has ordered the military to prepare for a shutdown, which includes reviewing which civilians might be considered essential and instructions to come to work despite the shutdown. It’s unclear whether those civilians would be paid for that work.
Troops will stay on the job regardless of a potential shutdown. Their paychecks might be delayed, but they would be entitled to retroactive pay after government functions resume.
The federal government will shutdown automatically on Oct. 1, which is the first day of fiscal 2014, unless lawmakers agree to a budget or a continuing resolution that would allow the military to carry on under the same spending levels as fiscal year 2013.
Little said overseas operations, including the war effort in Afghanistan, would not be directly affected by the shutdown.
The last government shutdown was in January 1996 and ended after three weeks.