WASHINGTON -- The Navy said Monday that civilians in the building where a gunman killed 12 people two weeks ago will not be subject to furloughs resulting from a likely government shutdown beginning at midnight.
"Everyone who was seated in or physically at the NAVSEA headquarters building 197 on Sept. 16 (day of the shooting) -- will be excepted from furloughs if/when the government shuts down," a Navy official said in a statement.
The Navy estimated that about 40 percent of its civilian personnel will not be subject to furloughs in the event of a shutdown. Half of the civilians in the Department of Defense are likely to be furloughed during a shutdown, according to the Office of Management and Budget. There is no guarantee they would receive back pay after the government resumes normal operation, as happened during the 1995-1996 shutdown. Congress would have to appropriate funding for back pay.
Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people and wounded eight others in the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in Southeast Washington. Officer Scott Williams of the D.C. police was released from the hospital Monday after treatment for gunshot wounds to the legs.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Saturday that Congress would be "astoundingly irresponsible" to shut down the government. "When you look at the greatest democracy in the world, the largest economy in the world and we're putting our people through this — that's not leadership. That's abdication of responsibilities," he said on a plane to South Korea.