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In a government shutdown, who will pay US military?

US military operations from Afghanistan to Japan will continue even if there is a government shutdown, Pentagon officials say. What they don't know is whether troops will get paychecks.

US Army pilot Joe Rogers works out at his base at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan's Helmand Province Wednesday. Troop pay for the US military is becoming a major political issue with a government shutdown looming.

Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

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One of the more politically sensitive prospects facing Congress in a potential government shutdown is whether US troops will continue to get their paychecks.

But on this point, the Pentagon has been mute, leading some to suggest that the Obama administration might be using the specter of the US military going without pay to pressure Republicans into a deal.

In response to a question about rumors that US troops at war will stop receiving their paychecks as of April 15, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Tuesday, “I don’t have a definitive answer … to relay to our forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

“We have not been able yet to arrive at a conclusive determination about how everyone’s pay would be impacted by this,” Mr. Morrell told reporters in a briefing.


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