U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after Department of Defense Comptroller Robert Hale announced that 95% of the defense civilian workforce has returned to work since the government shutdown began on October 1st:
"I am pleased DoD has improved its interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act, which became law before the government shutdown, so that our civilian employees can return to work and continue supporting our troops. Since the beginning of the shutdown, I have maintained that these furloughs were unnecessary due to provisions in POMA, and that's why it was important to me that I remained in constant contact with DoD officials in order to bring those furloughed employees back to work as quickly as possible."
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, Hale noted that while the majority of DoD employees had returned to work, approximately 40,000 DoD civilian employees remain on furlough. Around 35,000 belong to the Army Corps of Engineers, while the remainder works in legislative or public affairs for the Pentagon.
"I spoke to the Honolulu District of the Army Corps and am pleased to hear that they have had minimal impacts due to carry over funds from the last fiscal year. However, we need to end this damaging shutdown and get everyone, in all federal departments and agencies, back on the job immediately. The House Republican leadership must bring the clean continuing resolution to the floor so our hardworking families won't have to suffer any longer."
Nearly 350,000 DoD civilian employees were furloughed on October 1st due to the federal government shutdown. On October 5th, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that DoD reviewed the Pay Our Military Act and that most civilian employees would return to work.