- The federal government shut down at midnight on Saturday because Congress could not reach a funding deal.
- The shutdown will have a large impact on the military.
- Active duty personnel will remain on the job, but will not recieve pay until the shutdown ends.
- In the event that a servicemember is killed in action during the shutdown, the family would not recieve their $US100,000 bereavement benefit.
- Retiree benefits, Veterans Affairs disability benefits, and Survivor’s Benefit Plan funds would all still be paid.
The effects of the shutdown will be wide-ranging, with as many as 850,000 of approximately 2.1 million federal employees being placed on furlough, which means they’re placed on a leave of absence and receive no pay.
One of the biggest concerns for Congress and the White House is what the shutdown will do to the military. The Department of Defence released its shutdown contingency plan on Friday, listing what activities are deemed essential, and thus exempted from the shutdown, and which ones are nonessential.
While the shutdown means that several long-term projects will see their funding frozen, many activities needed for defence will remain open. Active duty military personnel will remain at work, but receive no pay, and operations overseas will be funded.
Here’s full rundown of how the shutdown will impact different parts of the military:
- Active duty pay: Pay for active duty military members will be frozen, but a paycheck will come until February 1. During the 2013 shutdown, a separate bill to fund military pay during the shutdown was passed, while an amendment to do the same that was advanced by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell due to concerns over Senate rules.
- Active military operations: All military operations overseas, including operations in Afghanistan, are still funded.
- In the event of an active duty military member being killed in action: The family of the deceased soldier would not receive their $US100,000 bereavement benefit and would not have travel funded if they went to Dover Air Force Base to meet the body. Life insurance for service members would still be funded.
- Retiree pay, Veteran’s Affairs disability benefits, and Survivor’s Benefits Plan benefits: These plans are funded through separate money from the annually appropriated funds, so beneficiaries will still receive checks.
- Movements of military personnel: Moves to new positions will be limited to certain activities. Moves to a position that is expected from the shutdown will be allowed.
- Contracted personnel: Any personnel working on a contract signed and appropriated prior to the shutdown will be allowed to continue. New contracts will not be executed.
- On-base facilities: Most on-base facilities will remain open including on-base schools medical facilities, mess halls, gyms, and child care facilities would be open. Some commissaries could be closed as they were in 2013.
- Healthcare: On-base healthcare will remain available and private sector care covered by TRICARE will be funded.
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