As Republican leaders in Congress scramble to avoid a federal government shutdown by the end of the week, President Donald Trump on Thursday tried to blame Democrats for a potential shutdown and claim that a shutdown would have the gravest effect on the U.S. military.
However, Trump’s declaration as he entered the Pentagon Thursday morning that “the worst thing” that happens during a shutdown “is what happens to our military” is an exaggeration.
“The group that loses big would be the military, and we’re never letting our military lose at any point. We’re going to fund our military,” Trump said.
A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
It’s true that a federal government shutdown could hurt employees of the federal government, including those serving in the military and working in the Pentagon. A shutdown could delay paychecks for those deemed essential and could jeopardize pay for workers told not to work while the federal government is closed.
However, much of the Defense Department’s work is prioritized over that of other agencies in the event of a shutdown. Active duty troops will not leave their posts, and other key Pentagon employees will continue to work. Some civilian workers at the Defense Department would likely have to stop working temporarily, but so will employees in other federal government departments.