Skip to comments.Fort civilians going back to work
Posted on 10/07/2013 7:52:36 AM PDT by SandRat
SIERRA VISTA The furlough of federal employees which began on Oct. 2, the day after Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution is unraveling, as special exceptions are being made for Department of Defense civil service workers.
Of the nearly 350,000 defense civilian workers laid off as part of the federal government shutdown, nearly all are expected to be back to be back at their jobs today.
While no official comment was received from Fort Huachuca officials, knowledgable sources confirmed to the Herald/Review on Sunday afternoon nearly every civilian assigned to the post who were furloughed, and have been in that status for nearly a week are to return today.
The sources said more than 90 percent of those furloughed on the fort were to be informed by various means on Sunday.
Tom Philpott, who writes the Military Update column, carried by the Herald/Review in every Saturday edition, put out an update Sunday in which he noted fewer than 10 percent will remain in furlough status until Congress passes a full funding bill.
It was on Saturday when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that, based on a Department of Justice legal interpretation of the new Pay Our Military Act, the furlough of most Department of Defense civilian employees will end.
And for many active duty and retired service members, a sore point was the furlough closed many commissaries in the United States, 175 to be specific, according to Philpott.
Normally the fort commissary is closed on Mondays and local sources said it will reopen on Tuesday, as perishables, such as meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, milk and eggs, have to be replenished.
When the word came to close the post commissary on Tuesday, it was described by some as a fire sale, of items.
Philpott noted initially defense officials estimated 400,000 civil services employees were furloughed but the number was later reduced to 350,000.
When the call came to furlough all federal civilian employees many, including those in the Department of Defense, were spared as being critical, including U.S. Border Patrol, many in the National Park Services law enforcement functions and other entities.
But news accounts report the administration is not addressing the impact of civilian furloughs on other federal agencies.
Congress has already taken action to ensure those furloughed will still receive pay for the days they didnt work because of the shutdown.
The Defense Departments reading of a bill signed into law involving continued pay for armed forces service members appears to have given the departments leadership wiggle room to bring back the majority of furloughed civil service workers.
On Sept. 30, Congress passed a bill continuing to pay the salary of uniformed members, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on the same day.
On Oct. 1, Arizonas 2nd Congressional Districts Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Barber whose district includes the fort and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson joined 67 other members of the House in pointing out part of the laws text not only required payment to those who perform active duty but noted since civil service employees of the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard serve to support the uniform services, all of these civilian employees should be returned to work without further delay.
Failure to comply was, according to the letter, a violation by the Administration of the intent of Congress.
That good old “Law of Unintended Consequences” cannot be repealed..even by his majesty Obama!
How is this possible? They were furloughed due to lack of funds to pay them, and no further funds have been made available.
OR, is this simply proof that it was all for show. If only the MSM showed the slightest bit of curiosity.
The shutdown is over. The only shutdown is monuments and amber alert. Even government screws up a shutdown.