The Defense Department is making ‘prudent’ plans for the increasingly likely possibility of a government shutdown, as the latest string of stopgap spending measures is due to expire April 8.
“While the administration believes that a government shutdown will be averted, the department, including the service leadership, is engaged in prudent planning so that we will be ready if one were to occur,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell at a news conference yesterday.
And while a shutdown would be “extremely disruptive,” even under the strain of a shutdown, the armed forces would still have the “authority and the ability” to continue activities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Japan, he added.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III has been tasked with setting guidance for the defense agencies and the military services if Congress fails to pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year by Friday.
While the options have dwindled, there have been some new proposals this week.
Military Times reported earlier this week the House approved a new continuing resolution Monday that would avert a government shutdown by one week, but that would supply Defense Department funding through the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends in September.
The new funding measure would provide $515.8 billion for the Defense Department’s 2011 base budget, which excludes funding for military construction. Military Times reports the figure is similar to a CR passed in February.