Will Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Remain Open During Shutdown?
💲 The U.S. Senate was working Saturday to avoid a shutdown
💲 Non-essential federal government workers will be furloughed during a shutdown
💲 Essential workers and the military will work without pay
UPDATE: The House passed a funding bill Saturday afternoon by a vote of 335-91 that keeps the federal government funded at the same level until Nov. 17. The bill moves onto the Senate for a vote before midnight. NH Reps Ann McLane Kuster and Chris Pappas
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will remain open for work in the event of a federal government shutdown, but civilian workers but will not likely not receive their usual pay until the budget standoff is resolved.
As the clock ticks towards a possible shutdown Saturday night, the U.S. Navy has determined that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, located in Kittery, is "vital to national security", which must continue.
"The significant majority of our workforce will be exempt from furlough. All employees should report for work on their next regularly scheduled work day. Thank you for all you do in support of our vital national security mission," the shipyard wrote on its Facebook page.
A spokeswoman reiterated the value of the shipyard to national security.
"The significant majority of our civilian workforce will continue to work during a lapse in appropriations. In accordance with the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019, excepted employees will receive retroactive pay at the earliest date possible after the lapse ends," Danna Eddy told Seacoast Current in an email.
In its newly released economic impact report, the Seacoast Shipyard Association said 6,451 civilian workers are employed by the shipyard. 4,263 are from Maine, 3,014 from New Hampshire, and 193 from Massachusetts.
Alanna Schaeffer, president of the Metal Trades Council and chair of the Seacoast Shipyard Association, told the Associated Press that some civilian workers in administrative roles at the shipyard could still be furloughed, according to Schaeffer.
5,300 civilian shipyard workers were furloughed during the 2018 government shutdown, according to a Reuters report at the time.
A shutdown seemed a very real possibility Saturday after 21 House Republicans considered to be hard right said a proposed package that would have cut spending by many government agencies by 30% and increased border security was "insufficient."
The Senate will be in session Saturday to advance a bipartisan plan that would temporarily avert a shutdown until November 17.
"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there is no reason for a government shutdown, and House Republicans need to put partisanship aside to avoid a costly and harmful shutdown," Sen. Maggie Hassan, R-NH, wrote on her X account Friday, formerly Twitter.
A shutdown would force non-essential federal government workers to be furloughed. Essential workers, including the TSA, FAA and members of the military, would remain on the job but would not receive their pay until a shutdown was resolved.
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