White Rectangle

Federal government back in business, Guard drills set to resume

  • Published
  • By Jim Garamone
  • American Forces Press Service
President Barack Obama signed legislation early Thursday bringing federal employees, including all military technicians, back to work after Congress finally resolved the budget impasse which led to a 16-day shutdown.

Senate leaders championed bipartisan legislation to reopen the government and remove the threat of government default on its debts. All federal government employees were to report to work Thursday.

Army and Air National Guard troops will resume activities and drills on a state-by-state basis. Drills and training are conducted at the discretion of state governors and their adjutants general, said Maj. Jon Craig, a National Guard Bureau spokesman.

The legislation is a continuing resolution that will provide federal government spending at fiscal year 2013 levels. This keeps the sequester-level budget in effect.

The act will keep the government open through Jan. 15 and raises the debt limit through Feb. 7. The act contains a provision for a joint Senate-House committee to work on a budget recommendation for fiscal year 2014. Those recommendations are due Dec. 13.

The legislation includes the provision to pay all furloughed employees for the period of the lapse in appropriations. The act calls for those employees to be paid "as soon as practicable."

Even before the House of Representatives voted, Obama signaled his intent to sign the bill.
"We'll begin reopening our government immediately," he said in a White House appearance. "And we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people."