Potential shutdown unlikely to impact DoD, VA

With another partial government shutdown looming in the coming week, it’s unlikely – but not completely assured – that the shutdown will have an impact on the Department of Defense.

Currently, a partial government shutdown could occur at midnight on Dec. 21 over the failure of Congress to pass spending bills to fund the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Spending bills previously approved by Congress and signed into law would keep departments operating in Defense, Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Lawmakers already have cleared legislation to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, the legislative branch, military construction, and energy and water development.

While the Defense Department currently isn’t in the mix, Military.com is reporting there is no guarantee there wouldn’t be side effects for the military if negotiations on a solution continue to deteriorate.

According to ABC News, about 420,000 federal employees who are deemed “essential” would continue to work through a shutdown, ensuring that critical operations in government would proceed unhindered. But these workers would not receive any compensation until the shutdown ends and lawmakers pass legislation to pay them retroactively.