(BBC News) Most of the 400,000 US defense department staff sent home amid the US government shutdown have been told to return to work next week.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the decision was based on an interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act.

A budget row between Republicans and Democrats has forced the closure of federal services for five days now.

But the sides have now voted to approve back-pay for the 800,000 federal workers sent home without salaries.

In a rare moment of bipartisan co-operation, the House of Representatives on Saturday approved by 407-0 a bill to pay the federal workers once the shutdown ends.

There remains no sign of any deal on the federal budget, however.

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