National Government

Pentagon: Most furloughed civilians ordered back

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel answers question aboard the USS Stethem DDG 63 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, a U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, outside of Tokyo on Friday Oct. 4, 2013. After speaking to sailors on the guided missile destroyer, Hagel is returning to Washington, completing his trip to South Korea and Japan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel answers question aboard the USS Stethem DDG 63 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, a U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, outside of Tokyo on Friday Oct. 4, 2013. After speaking to sailors on the guided missile destroyer, Hagel is returning to Washington, completing his trip to South Korea and Japan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is ordering most of its approximately 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work.

The decision by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is based on a Pentagon legal interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act.

That measure was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama shortly before the partial government shutdown began Tuesday.

The Pentagon did not immediately say on Saturday exactly how many workers will return to work. The Defense Department said "most" were being brought back.

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