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Currently, 400,000 of the department’s 800,000 civilian workers are being furloughed. Hagel said he couldn’t estimate how many people might be reclassified as essential or when they might be summoned back to work, but he called the effort a priority.
Government attorneys are checking “to see if there’s any margin here or widening in the interpretation of the law,” Hagel told reporters in South Korea, where he was in the midst of a three-day visit. “Our lawyers believe that maybe we can expand the exempt status. We don’t know if that’s the case, but we are exploring that.”
reply to post by IAMTAT
How are a cemetery and memorial more essential than things like the FAA? One third of the FAA has been declared non-essential and furloughed, military academies are canceling classes and events, but we should keep a cemetery in France open as essential? Seriously?
To be honest, I'd be a lot more concerned about the fact that the FAA registration office in Oklahoma City is closed, delaying the delivery of new aircraft (it could delay up to $1.4B in aircraft if this goes on). Or the fact that the NTSB Go Team investigating the crash of the CJ2+ business jet in California was pulled back, because only three investigators are still working.
reply to post by ownbestenemy
I'm always torn on private or state inspectors. On the one hand, they're not going to fall under the government budget, so something like this wouldn't affect them. But at the same time, they're not technically under the government.
If done right, I think they'd be a good idea, the problem is making sure that it is done right, and has the proper oversight.
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
You're looking at it on an emotional level. On a realistic level, why should a groundskeeper be deemed essential, when instructors at a military academy be deemed non-essential? I'm sorry, but while a cemetery should be open, I would rather see them still teaching at the academy so the next generation of military officers gets taught right, instead of missing classes. It makes a great emotional argument, but on a realistic note, there are other things that are more important than keeping the Normandy Memorial open.
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Where you see a punk in the White House who is apparently singlehandedly responsible for all our problems, I see a system that failed. If you don't like the current system, find a way to work to change it. But I'm sorry, a cemetery, while important, is not necessary to running the country. An NTSB Go Team on an active investigation for example, or the thousands of employees that aren't getting paid and have families to support should be our priority. The dead are beyond caring, and while it will hurt their families to not be able to visit for now, don't you think taking care of the living is more important?