Rahall and his House colleagues asked Hagel to use his "broad discretion afforded with the passage" of last week's legislation to continue to pay the National Guard.
"Congress took action before the shutdown began to ensure that the men and women of our armed forces, including the Reserves and National Guard, would continue to be paid," Rahall said. "We are pressing the Department of Defense to adhere closely to that policy."
Rockefeller, Manchin and their colleagues who wrote to Hagel said they were concerned that the government continues to pay individual including: National Guard members "who are performing domestic disaster relief and recovery operations," Army Guard reserve members, personnel on short-term active duty missions, and federally-paid civilians working with the Guard, including "firefighters, air traffic controllers and other civilians in direct support of military operations."
Rahall believes furloughing military technicians and state civilian employees "will have a harmful impact on our Nation's military readiness and emergency preparedness. With this insane shutdown, the House is needlessly hurting the men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so much for the safety of American people."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been leading efforts to shut down federal government operations until he can force Democrats to reverse some policies in the Affordable Health Care Act.
"The House needs to focus on the harm it is doing to families and businesses and pass legislation quickly to reopen the government and cease this ridiculous political standoff," Rahall said.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.