U.S. budget crisis will cause personal budget crisis for U.S. troops

Thursday, April 7, 2011

According to senior defense officials, U.S. service men and women around the world, including those at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, may receive only one-week's pay instead of two in their next paycheck if the government shuts down this weekend due to the federal budget impasse.

The military can't be paid during a funding lapse until a new appropriations bill or continuing resolution is passed by Congress.

If the funding bill is allowed to expire on April 8, it will be in the middle of a standard military two-week pay period, so the Pentagon would likely send out paychecks for just the first week of the pay period, and not the second, leaving many service members strapped for cash for the remainder of the month.

Historically, workers such as the military who are legally obligated to work during a shutdown, do eventually receive back pay for it. But that doesn't help pay bills that are due presently.

Additional details on the military's plan for funding during a potential shutdown are expected in the next day or so.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said earlier Tuesday that department leaders hadn't figured out how pay would be affected for the military, including the 146,000 servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Morrell said the Pentagon would continue key national security responsibilities including fighting the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and continuing operations in Libya and earthquake assistance to Japan.

The likelihood of a shutdown continues to increase, and President Obama continues to reject a Republican measure that would fund the government for another week but cut $12 billion from the budget.