Pentagon: Troops will not get paid during a shutdown

Pentagon: Troops will not get paid during a shutdown
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The Pentagon is starting to distribute plans to its personnel in the case of a government shutdown, according to a Friday memo to military and civilian employees from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. 

During a government shutdown, all military personnel would continue in a normal duty status, but they would not be paid until Congress provides funding, the memo says. 

A follow-on memo said the Pentagon would continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and ongoing operations against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS), including preparation of forces for deployment into those conflicts.
 
The memo said the Pentagon would also continue many other operations necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property. Although these activities would continue, the troops would still not be paid until Congress appropriates funding. 
 
All other activities "would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion," the memo said.
 
In addition, some civilian employees would be furloughed while others would report to work. 
 
"Civilian personnel who are necessary to carry out or support excepted activities will also continue in normal duty status and also will not be paid until Congress makes appropriated funds available," the memo said. 
 
Civilian employees paid from lapsed appropriations and who are not necessary to carry out or support excepted activities will be furloughed, it said. 

The Pentagon recently updated its rationale for determining which civilian employees would be furloughed.
 
"As we saw in 2013, should a shutdown occur, and depending on the length of the shutdown, these determinations may change over time as circumstances evolve," said the memo.
 
Work's memo emphasized that the categorization of employees and whether someone is furloughed is not a reflection of the quality of an employee's work, or his or her importance to the department. 

"Your chain of command will begin reaching out to you to provide additional detail on our contingency plans and your status under a potential lapse," it said. 

The memo also clarifies that should a shutdown happen, official furlough notices would only be issued on Oct. 1.
 
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said Friday that lawmakers are "ready to go" on an emergency bill to pay troops if necessary. 

“We’re ready to go with that if it gets to that point,” said Thornberry at a press conference. “I hope it doesn’t get to that point. I don’t really think it will, but we’re trying to be ready for contingencies.”

The last time there was a shutdown, in 2013, lawmakers passed legislation that protected military pay.