Legislation signed into law before the government shutdown to allow civilian military personnel to continue working has finally been fully executed by the Administration.
“I am pleased to learn that Secretary Hagel has finally acknowledged Congressional intent and brought civilian DoD employees back to work,” said Congressman Brett Guthrie. “The House passed a bill prior to the shutdown that allowed all civilian employees who support active duty military to continue to work. The Senate and President Obama both supported this measure, so it is extremely frustrating that these individuals were furloughed in the first place. The President had the same authority last week that he has this week.”
H.R. 3210, the “Pay Our Military Act” included language that allows “civilian personnel of the Department of Defense (and the Department of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard) whom the Secretary concerned determines are providing support to members of the Armed Forces…” to continue to be paid despite a government shutdown. Despite this clear language, the Administration chose to furlough thousands of civilian employees. In response, Congressman Guthrie wrote a letter to Secretary Hagel reiterating Congressional intent and urging him to allow these employees to return to work.
“Obviously, the DoD civilians working at Fort Knox support our military and should not have been furloughed this past week. I am pleased that by working together, my colleagues and I were able to highlight this lack of leadership from the Administration and ultimately get these civilian workers back to performing their critical duties,” added Congressman Guthrie.
In addition, the House unanimously passed legislation on Friday, October 4 to provide back-pay for those federal employees furloughed due to the government shutdown.
With guidance from the Department of Defense just becoming available, most furloughed civilian employees should expect to hear information about returning to work in the coming days.