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Service Members Would Earn Pay During Shutdown

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2011 – Military members would continue to earn wages in the event of an April 8 shutdown of the federal government, but they’d have to wait to collect them until Congress agrees on a budget, a senior administration official said here today.

During a telephone briefing administered by the Office of Management and Budget, a senior administration official detailed the consequences of a possible federal government shutdown that will occur April 8 if Congress doesn’t agree on a budget.

Service members, the official said, “will continue to earn money” in the event of a shutdown.

But because there wouldn’t be any money to pay out to service members during a shutdown, the official said, they would have to wait to be reimbursed.

“They will be paid once we have money again to pay them,” the official said.

Some members of the Defense Department’s federal civilian work force would be exempted from a shutdown because of their work in critical areas, or because they are funded through sources outside the federal budget, the official said.

However, “a significant number of DOD civilian employees, unfortunately, would be furloughed if the government shuts down,” the official said.

Activities necessary to protecting life and property, or those whose funding comes from someplace other than the federal budget, will continue if the government shuts down April 8, the official added.

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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

5/2/2011 5:29:31 PM
Here is an idea instead of not paying our military who's job is to protect our freedom, they put their lives on the line every day while you people bicker back and forth. Get rid of wasteful programs and fundings. Maybe even take a 20% pay cut yourselves, (oh what a thought), why not skip a few welfare checks and get the freeloaders to give up their pay, their only job is to suck this country dry. SHAME on all of you for your misconstrued priorities. A pay raise for congress at a time like this, I can't believe you even had the nerve to bring this up let alone pass it. Marta USA
- Marta Jones, Green Valley, IL

4/8/2011 6:44:27 PM
The fact that we will eventually get paid does not help make up the fact that we would still be "broke" at some point. The pay we are going to receive later does not help me live off half a paycheck right now! I NEED MY MONEY RIGHT NOW! I'M SURE WE ALL DO!
- RandomA1C, FL

4/8/2011 2:49:12 AM
So question...ur going to stop paying our military? Even the ones overseas fighting for your right to vote on this? Im sorry but I have 8 children my husband is currently deployed and this bothers me EXTREMELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that is putting it in a mild perspective. So what will this genius plan do ...besides make most military and civilians go into debt because they hav alotments set up for that day and you hav now taken half ther pay away and they need groceries???? Smart one! You are doing an excellent job. Can you taste the sarcasm? Cuz Im laying it on pretty thick! Thanks Genius!
- April, usa

4/7/2011 11:28:20 PM
With the military unfortunately in this particular event there is not too much you can do legally, but with the state and those types of legal issues, my friend has used it for like DSHS taking money out of child support money, and they would not refund it...but then it was able to be refunded for access she had to a lawyer, which was easy to afford cause she had prepaid legal...if you want to have a bit more security legally, and also identity theft monitoring you could check it out.... www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/nathanlewis
- Crystal , USA

4/7/2011 1:45:54 PM
? How do you expect backpay to feed them till then, how are there lights going to stay on in the mean time. The military presses there services members to have all there bills paid and there credit clean, and if they get behind they get penalized for it, how are they supposed to follow the Militry regulations if they dont have money to do so. Has Congress thought to cut there pay back just in half to help the budget? Has congress thought to put themselves over seas risking there lives for our freedom without pay? How do you think the service members will really act if there forced to be over there wothout proper compensation? Do you think there going to want to protect a country that is going to allow there familys to suffer while there gone? Think of all the families that are going to go hungry cause your decision, and then look at all the families on welfare living the high life. Which should you cut funding on.
- SaraBeth McDonald, New York

4/7/2011 12:26:34 PM
I am a military mom of 3, A soldier in the US Army, a Marine and an Airman. These kids have a hard enough time making ends meet, as a parent I have to financially help out my children when the need arises, they are my children and they will never go without. However it is so sad that as a Country we would even think of putting this added stress on these young Men and Woman. This is truly a shame on this Government.
- Donna Oliveri, Grovetown GA

4/7/2011 10:03:45 AM
While Congress votes themselves a raise and ensures their little angels get to go to private schools, the DoD civilians can't get paid and the military has to wait to get paid. The military, who doesn't have the luxury of waiting because threats to freedom sure as hell won't wait either, just marches on to the beat of a blind, ignorant drummer with no rhythmn. Most of our kids have to go to public schools which also don't have enough money to improve themselves but why should Congress care? They got there raises and their kids don't go to public school anyway.
- Joel Quebec, Bryan, TX

4/7/2011 8:03:59 AM
This is the complete opposite of what I heard. I heard that Military pay as well as Social Security checks would still continue as normal. Maybe the President is just trying to scare the men and women in uniform to get them behind his over blotted budget. If he wanted this huge budget to pass, for 2011, maybe they should have gotten it passed by October when the fiscal year started.
- Tom, Michigan

4/7/2011 7:51:10 AM
so your telling me that my husband who is currently in afgan getting shot at and protecting the country would not get paid then the troops should come home we were pcsed to germany and have to pay german bills there not going to wait who is going to pay them. you guys need to get it together with this those who are fighting for our country deserve there whole pay not half or nothing or they should come home
- sarah smith, germany

4/7/2011 7:13:31 AM
So the question needs to be asked, will Congress continue to get paid? If you can't find the money to pay the troops who are fighting the wars to keep them safe, it would be a shame that Congress continues to get paid and not the troops.
- Lynette, Deployed

4/7/2011 5:41:33 AM
If the government shuts down, I won't get my direct deposit on the 1st and 15th of each month until a federal budget is hashed out? I will continue earning my normal wages and will be back-paid during the time of the shutdown? What are the service members to do who live paycheck to paycheck and have bills to pay? It's not right for us military members not to be getting paid.
- Kevin Hasselbach, Osan, Rep. of Korea

4/6/2011 9:58:23 PM
This is so wrong! Just because you are still earning money does not pay the bills! Gas is $4 a gallon, how can you tell the gas station, ' Please give me gas I am still earning money through the military, but I can't pay you until they pay me!" Military families are not taken care of as it is and now they have to wait for the government to quit throwing sand in their sandbox! I am so sickened by the people that we have elected!
- Renee, tn

4/6/2011 6:00:14 PM
The article does not discuss the Reserve and National Guard ability to perform "inactive" drills. Drills were significantly limited under continuing resolution guidance and there has been no guidance with regard to a shutdown. Will they report for duty this weekend and get paid later; or are they essentially furloughed with the civilians?
- L. E., Houston, Texas

4/6/2011 5:51:38 PM
We spoke to a lawyer, and if my husband (who is active duty army) does not receive pay that is considered a breech of contract and we are therefore allowed to walk away.
- Lacie, Fort Carson

4/6/2011 5:08:56 PM
This is absolutely unacceptable!!! Think about all of the military members who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. They are in harms way and will not be receiving a paycheck because our government can’t agree on a budget. The families will not only have to worry about the safety of their loved one but also struggle to figure out how to keep a roof over their head, feed their children, and pay the bills. There should be a law in place that if there is a Government shutdown that all elected officials in the Congress and House of Representatives should be fired and never allowed to run for another public office. Let them see a little what it is like to struggle. This is a complete disregard for all of the things our military members do to protect all of us!!!!
- Christina White-Thompson, Florida

4/6/2011 5:00:00 PM
How about we move S 724 to be scheduled prior to friday so we dont have a financial crisis for service members like myself? Its not that difficult to accomplish. The money is there, but no finalization due to the fact that people want to fix the financial crisis at the last minute?! what were you doing ALL YEAR?! sign the bill, deal with it after u allow people to pay their bills. thanks.
- jeff, elmendorf

4/6/2011 4:23:24 PM
My husband, who is in the Navy, was told today to "figure out your finances" due to the impending shutdown, but was also told he must remain on post. We already maintain the costs of two households because we couldn't sell our house before PCS'ing because of the market, and the HAP program is dragging their feet, so we are barely scraping by. What do I tell my daughters day care provider (I have two jobs myself)? I will pay you back when I have the money? Do I tell that to the gas station and the grocery store? How can the government treat us military families with such disrespect?
- Sharon, Phoenix

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