In a message broadcast over Armed Forces Television at midnight Eastern Time, Obama said he was signing emergency legislation ensuring that service members would still be paid and promised that “we’ll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families.”
“The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency,” he said in the video (above).
In the message — which he opened with a folksy “Hi, everybody” — Obama had less heartening news for civilian Defense Department employees but promised to “keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible.”
“I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty, including possible furloughs, and I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer,” he said.
“You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress.”