Congressional Research Service Details Latest Shutdown Developments at the Defense Department

On Oct. 7, the Congressional Research Service updated its report on how a lapse in appropriations – in other words, a government shutdown – is affecting the Department of Defense (DoD). The Center for Effective Government obtained the report and is making it publicly available. The report comes after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalled most of the estimated 400,000 furloughed DoD civilian employees and the House of Representatives passed a bill allowing all furloughed federal workers to retroactively receive back pay for their forced leave once the shutdown ends. Both of these actions occurred on Oct. 5. These actions significantly mitigate the shutdown's impact at the Defense Department.

However, according to the report, “The status of many contractor personnel remains unclear. While some new contract obligations to support ‘excepted’ activities could be signed, monies could not be disbursed while other new contracts would be delayed. This could create some confusion and, potentially, disruptions to supplies of some material and services, particularly if full funding for DOD is not restored soon.”

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