1. back to the grind

    Hagel Recalls Pentagon Workers

    In this photo taken July 17, 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with Air Force personnel at Joint Base Charleston near Charleston, S.C., on the last day of a three-day trip to visit bases in the Carolinas and Florida. When Hagel told civilian Department of Defense workers on the base that job furloughs, that have forced a 20% pay cut on most of the militay's civilian workforce, will likely continue next year, and that it make it even worse, the audience softly gasped in surprise and gave a few depressed low whistles. He said that if the department has to absorb another $52 billion in cuts next year because of the federal sequester, there will likely be layoffs instead of furloughs. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

    Bruce Smith/AP

    Are we inching back to normalcy? On Saturday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that most of the Department of Defense's 400,000 civilian employees have been ordered back to work according to Pentagon interpretations of the Pay Our Military Act. The act, which was passed on Tuesday, ensures that members of the military will continue to be paid on time as they work throughout the shutdown. It also allows room for Pentagon-affiliated civilians who provide defense support. Perhaps more excitingly, it also means that nearly half of the 800,000 government employees furloughed will be back at work on Monday.

    Read it at CNN