About 400,000 civilian workers for the Department of Defense would be furloughed starting Tuesday if Congress is unable to reach a deal to fund the federal government, according to the Pentagon's top finance official.
Military service members would continue to report to duty, but they, too, would not be paid during a shutdown. The first paychecks that would potentially not be issued would be the ones due Oct. 15, according to Undersecretary of Defense Robert F. Hale.
In a shutdown, the department would also be forced to stop other payments, including death benefits for families of members of the armed services.
"We would have no authority to pay the money, and in that case the payment would be delayed," Hale said in a briefing for the media. He warned that a freeze in funding would grow increasingly difficult to manage over time, as the department would run out of options for delaying operations and would be prohibited from entering into any new contracts with vendors.