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Congress Forced Hagel To Recall Civilian Workers

From The Hill:

Shutdown all but over for the Pentagon

By Jeremy Herb and Erik Wasson | October 7, 2013

The shutdown for the Pentagon effectively ended Monday as more than 300,000 civilian workers returned to the job. Of the Defense Department’s roughly 750,000 civilian workers, only a small fraction remain furloughed.

This is journalistic malpractice. By the end of the article we will learn that only "“a few tens of thousands” will remain furloughed. So they are recalling a helluva lot more than 300,000.

In fact, the truth is the Pentagon will have to recall all of its workers. Because ‘The ‘Law Of The Land (TM)’ made it completely illegal for any of them to have put on furlough in the first place. (But more on this later.)

Most of the military’s 1.3 million active-duty service members are being shielded from the shutdown as well, as multiple services stopped last week are now returning.

More journalism malpractice. The same law that protects the military protects the civilian defense workers…

The return to near normal for the Pentagon came after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced this weekend that more than 90 percent of the 350,000 furloughed Pentagon civilian employees could return to work because of a law Congress passed last week to pay the military.

A law that was purposefully passed before the shutdown. A law that was precisely intended to stop Hagel from doing exactly what he did.

The Pentagon and Justice Department determined the law allowed civilians “whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members” to return to work…

Which would include all DOD workers. Otherwise, why are they at the DOD? But the Obama administration wanted to throw a scare into the public, even if they had to break the law to do it.

The move means that the Pentagon, which had the most federal workers furloughed when the government shut down last week, is now one of the agencies least affected by the budget impasse.

And all the fearmongering about 800,000 furloughed workers was nothing  but a government/media lie.

Some services and offices are still affected by the shutdown. Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said that most public affairs and legislative affairs workers remain furloughed, as well as those who work on audits…

Auditors don’t contribute to the readiness of the military? Since when?

While lawmakers from both parties praised the Pentagon for bringing back most of its civilian workforce, some Republicans criticized the Pentagon for taking until Saturday to do so.

“The President should not have furloughed these hardworking men and women. According to the bill he signed, they should have been allowed to work through this entire shutdown,” said Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This clearly shows he has been playing politics with these furloughs.”

Congress passed the military pay bill  Sept. 30 in the hours before the government closed. The Pentagon said it had to carefully review the law before determining which civilians could return to work.

Members of both parties were pressuring Hagel to bring back civilian workers back. Half the Senate signed a letter that said the law made “explicitly clear” most civilians could work during the shutdown.

One senior House GOP aide said Pentagon officials had indicated they wanted to immediately issue a broad interpretation to bring most civilians back to work but were delayed by the Justice Department.

“They were hampered, possibly by legal implications, but we suspect and understand political implications by the White House over a concern that once you relieve the national security pressure, there’s a leverage issue there,” the aide said.

Hale said the law did not allow a “blanket recall” of civilians, which meant the department had to undertake a review of its civilian workforce. “Needless to say, this is a difficult process and a time-consuming one,” Hale told reporters…

Only because they are trying to drag out this illegal act.

The Pentagon did not yet have an exact number of civilians who remained furloughed Monday, but Hale said Saturday the number was “no more than a few tens of thousands.”

In other words, they are recalling a helluva lot more than 300,000 of the 750,000 thousand workers. And, of course, they will eventually have to recall them all.

So all this talk about 800,000 furloughed DOD workers has been nothing but political theater. And illegal political theater at that. In fact, Obama and Hagel have inflicted all of this grief, even going to so far as to break ‘The Law Of The Land,’ all the while pretending they were being forced to do so by the Republicans.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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