DOD and NASA Shutdown Plans if No FY2014 CR by Tuesday

DOD and NASA Shutdown Plans if No FY2014 CR by Tuesday

Yesterday, NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD released their plans in case of a government shutdown on Tuesday, the beginning of FY2014.  The Senate passed its version of a Continuing Resolution (CR) yesterday as expected, but agreement has not yet been reached with the House.

DOD’s shutdown plan is posted on its website .  It states that military personnel should report for duty as usual   Civilians must report on October 1 to receive their emergency furlough notices, but after that, only those who support “excepted activities”  such as military operations will be able to work.  Military personnel and excepted civilians will be paid retroactively, according to DOD, but furloughed civilians will not unless Congress passes a law providing that money.

NASA’s shutdown plan ensures that operating spacecraft — including the International Space Station — are unaffected.  Just about everything else is, however.  NASA Headquarters directed its Center Directors to “narrowly construe” who should be exempted from the furlough.  Exceptions include space launch hardware processing activities necessary to prevent harm to life or property, for example,  but “generally” work will halt on missions that have not yet been launched.

Action to avert a shutdown is in the House’s court today.   At 6:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the House appeared poised to pass a bill that extends government funding to December 15, but requires a one-year delay to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and repeal of an associated tax on medical devices.  A separate bill would allow military personnel to be paid during a shutdown (apparently as opposed to paying them retroactively).  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made clear this afternoon that the Senate would not agree to a bill that delays Obamacare, making a shutdown appear more likely, but it is still too early to make useful predictions about how this will turn out.

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