Pentagon prepares for possible shutdown

2013-09-23 22:28
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The Pentagon warned its workforce on Monday that it is preparing for a possible government shutdown if Congress fails to break a political impasse.

If US government agencies are forced to shutter, American troops around the world would stay on the job and some civilian employees would be ordered on unpaid leave, Pentagon spokesperson George Little told reporters.

But pay cheques for military service members might be delayed while Congress would have to take action to ensure retroactive pay for civilians required to come to work, he added.

"Military personnel would be paid but maybe not on time," he said.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel planned to send out a memo to department workers on Monday saying the Office of Management and Budget had asked the Pentagon "to review and update our plans in order to prepare for an orderly government shutdown", according to Little.

President Barack Obama's administration believes that Congress should find a political agreement to avoid "a lapse in funding," he said.

"A shutdown would put severe hardships on an already stressed workforce and is totally unnecessary," he added.


A deeply divided Congress has until 1 October, the beginning of fiscal year 2014, to reach a budget compromise.

House Republicans voted on Friday for a spending plan that strips all funds for Obama's health care law, setting up a confrontation with the Democratic-led Senate, which is expected to reject the measure.

The Pentagon did not say what share of its civilian employees would be furloughed if the shutdown goes ahead next week.

Military operations in Afghanistan would not be affected by a shutdown and would continue, Little said.

"We're going to continue the war effort."

When the Pentagon prepared for a possible shutdown in 2011 that was averted in a last-minute deal, officials designated certain department activities as necessary that needed to continue.

The "essential" services included medical care, mess halls, child care, legal offices, logistics, training, department schools and some accounting sections.

Read more on:    chuck hagel  |  barack obama  |  us  |  us shutdown  |  us economy

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.