Federal Agencies Lay Out Contingency Plans for Possible Shutdown

WASHINGTON — As Congress continued to spar on Saturday over a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running, federal agencies made contingency plans for a potential shutdown.

Each cabinet-level department and federal agency was required to identify essential personnel and determine which operations would continue if no deal were reached by Tuesday, the first day of the new fiscal year.
Although huge parts of the federal bureaucracy could be forced to close, many government functions would continue.
Senior Pentagon officials said on Friday that the more than 1.3 million active military personnel would remain on duty during a shutdown but would probably not receive their paychecks until a spending agreement was reached. The service members and civilians who stay on the job would be categorized as essential to the protection of life and property and to national security.
About half of the Defense Department’s approximately 800,000 civilian employees would be furloughed without pay.
There is little question that troops deployed to Afghanistan would continue their missions, as would warships now off the coast of Syria to pressure President Bashar al-Assad’s government to adhere to a plan to surrender its chemical weapons stockpile.
Documents released on Friday by the Pentagon listed essential duties that would be carried out during a government shutdown, including recruitment, intelligence and surveillance, fire protection, counseling and other services for sexual assault victims, operations of mortuary facilities for fallen service members, and a broad range of medical care.
The military is one of several departments whose employees are considered essential for national security purposes. The Department of Homeland Security, which comprises organizations like the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would have to furlough roughly 14 percent of its employees, far lower than many other cabinet-level agencies.
Nearly all of the F.B.I.’s roughly 16,000 agents and analysts at its headquarters and its 56 field offices across the country would continue to work because they are considered essential to protecting the country. “Nonessential” employees like carpenters and dock employees who unload shipments would be told to stay home.
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