As the U.S. government inches closer to a potential shutdown, military personnel might be locked in to work without pay, according to U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, R-Fla., chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee.
Although the Department of Defense remains functional during government shutdowns, Young told Military Times that servicemembers should expect to work without pay until appropriations funding becomes available. While pay will be accrued during that time, Young warns that the morale of the servicemembers will inevitably suffer.
"The impact of a shutdown on the department and the military and civilian families – many of whom live paycheck to paycheck – is simply catastrophic," Young said.
Military personnel are also exempt from government furloughs. However, the laying off of civilian defense workers combined with lack of funding to the defense department will potentially result in delayed military operations, ranging from medical treatment and payments to medical providers to travel and permanent moves, the news source reports.
Congress currently has until Oct. 1 to iron out its spending budget and avoid a government shutdown. The House passed a bill last week that would fund the government through Dec. 15. However, the hotly contested bill also eradicates the Affordable Care Act, entirely stripping its funding. The bill will be taken up by the Senate this week.