Troops to get paid during shutdown
U.S. lawmakers voted to continue paying troops as part of a last-minute budget deal before the midnight deadline that saw the Congress fail to pass a budget forcing the government to shut down.
The first federal government shutdown since the mid-1990s will have immediate and far-reaching impacts to the military and veteran communities. While service members will still report to duty, about half of the Defense Department’s civilian workforce – some 400,000 workers – will be forced to stay home and take mandatory unpaid leaves of absence, known as furloughs.
Stateside commissaries will close after Oct. 1, routine medical appointments for troops and their family members may be delayed or canceled, and veterans’ benefits – from pension payments to call centers – could be postponed.
“The fact that funding for VA benefits could disappear in a month ought to be incentive enough for our elected leaders to achieve a solution,” said Daniel Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion. “Our federal government must never put veterans in this kind of position.”