07 April 2011

Is the US Army About to "Feed and Forage"?

A law from Civil War times is about to allow the DoD to keep operating if the US government does shut down in a budget battle.

As the Army and the other military services face the prospect of a government shutdown by the end of the week, they are looking to the Civil War Era “Feed and Forage Act,” for potential authorities to continue operations, according to Army budget officials.

To make sure that soldiers in the field are spared the impacts of a government shutdown, the Army is researching what provisions of the Feed and Forage Act of 1861 would apply in these circumstances, Barbara Bonessa, deputy director for the Army budget said in an interview April 1.

Under the law, the government is allowed to buy “clothing, subsistence, forage, fuel, quarters, transportation, or medical and hospital supplies,” for the troops before receiving the necessary appropriation from Congress.

The Act was first created during the Civil War for soldiers operating out West who had no idea whether a spending bill had been passed in Washington, but needed to resupply their ammunition, food and other necessary provisions, said John Cooney, who served as deputy general counsel in the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration.

So the Army is about to start foraging if the government shuts down?

By: Brant

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