Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, in a memo dated Thursday, expressed the Trump administration's desire to avoid a government shutdown, but said "prudent management" requires the Pentagon to be prepared for a lapse in appropriations. A 12-page attachment provides instructions for continuation of essential operations in case the funds run out.
While the memo contains guidance on essential personnel to continue DoD operations during a potential shutdown, he said, the department will continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and operations against al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and will continue to make preparations for deployments into those conflicts. It must also continue many other operations "necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property". "These activities will be "excepted" from the effects of a lapse in appropriations: All other activities would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion, including - with few exceptions - the cessation of temporary duty travel". During a shutdown, all active-duty military personnel would continue in a normal duty status. "Civilian employees paid for lapsed appropriations and who are not necessary to carry out or support excepted activities will be furloughed, i.e., placed in a nonwork, nonpay status".
Retirees, which are paid through a different budget will still receive pay as normal.
"The uncertainty of the current circumstances puts our workforce in a hard situation and, should a government shutdown occur, it could impose hardships on many employees, as well as the people whom we serve every day", Shanahan said. Meanwhile, two Senate Democrats, Sen.
Military health care including Tricare will continue. If the government shuts down, commissaries will sell of perishable item they have on hand before closing. "Congress needs to take bipartisan action to ensure the financial well-being and readiness of our troops and those who support them." he said.