Sequester Would Sideline Thousands Of DoD Civilian Employees

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had the unenviable job today of informing hundreds of thousands of his civilian employees that they could be furloughed if the sequester takes effect on March 1.

Panetta

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had the unenviable job today of informing hundreds of thousands of his civilian employees that they could be furloughed if the sequester takes effect on March 1.

In a letter to the entire DoD workforce, Panetta warned that “should sequestration occur and continue for a substantial period, DoD will be forced to place the vast majority of its civilian workforce on administrative furlough.”

This could impact as many as 800,000 civilian employees, which Panetta argued “will result in a serious erosion of readiness across the force.”

Read the full text of the letter below:

For more than a year and a half, the president, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I have repeatedly voiced our deep concerns over the half a trillion dollars in automatic across-the-board cuts that would be imposed under sequestration and the severe damage that would do both to this department and to our national defense.

The administration continues to work with Congress to reach agreement on a balanced deficit reduction plan to avoid these cuts. Meanwhile, because another trigger for sequestration is approaching on March 1, the department’s leadership has begun extensive planning on how to implement the required spending reductions. Those cuts will be magnified because the department has been forced to operate under a six-month continuing resolution that has already compelled us to take steps to reduce spending.

In the event of sequestration we will do everything we can to be able to continue to perform our core mission of providing for the security of the United States, but there is no mistaking that the rigid nature of the cuts forced upon this department, and their scale, will result in a serious erosion of readiness across the force.

I have also been deeply concerned about the potential direct impact of sequestration on you and your families. We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DoD personnel – but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited. The president has used his legal authority to exempt military personnel funding from sequestration, but we have no legal authority to exempt civilian personnel funding from reductions. As a result, should sequestration occur and continue for a substantial period, DoD will be forced to place the vast majority of its civilian workforce on administrative furlough.

Today, I notified Congress that furloughs could occur under sequestration. I can assure you that, if we have to implement furloughs, all affected employees will be provided at least 30 days’ notice prior to executing a furlough and your benefits will be protected to the maximum extent possible. We also will work to ensure that furloughs are executed in a consistent and appropriate manner, and we will also continue to engage in discussions with employee unions as appropriate.

Working with your component heads and supervisors, the department’s leaders will continue to keep you informed. As we deal with these difficult issues, I want to thank you for your patience, your hard work, and your continued dedication to our mission of protecting the country.

Our most important asset at the department is our world-class personnel. You are fighting every day to keep our country strong and secure, and rest assured that the leaders of this department will continue to fight with you and for you.

Geoff Holtzman
Geoff Holtzman is Talk Radio News Service's Deputy Bureau Chief. As one of TRNS's primary correspondents, he helps cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Geoff also covered the 2012 presidential campaign, following the candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere. In the process, he learned that not all Motel 6's are created equal. Follow Geoff on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

3 Responses to “Sequester Would Sideline Thousands Of DoD Civilian Employees” Subscribe

  1. Randy Wright February 25, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    One unpaid day off….oh the horror!

    • Wbutler64 February 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      its one day a week up to 22 weeks. how about you take a 20% pay cut for 4 months?you dont think its a big deal if 800000 employees take a 20% pay cut?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Report: Yemeni Forces Retake Key Airbase From Rebels

Al-Anad is the largest airbase in Yemen, and was used by the U.S. to launch drone strikes against al-Qaeda before it was overrun by the Houthis back in March.

The World in 2:00 – August 4, 2015

The World in 2:00

Republican presidential contenders use foreign policy proclamations to try and stick out in a crowded field.

Restless Insurrectionist Syndrome Strikes

History is replete with examples showing that insurrectionist ideologically pure candidates usually lose to the establishment candidates.

Obama Meets UN Secretary-General To Discuss Fighting Global Climate Change

Obama met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to talk about the upcoming UN climate conference, the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Sudan as well as the Iran nuclear deal.

Park Police Confirm Gun Found Near WWII Memorial Shooting

Police barricade areas near the WWII Memorial to scour for evidence following gunshot reports. Photo/William McDonald TRNS

UPDATE at 5:15pm EST; Two shooting incidences, one in DC has been confirmed and a possible military base in Mississippi came under fire Tuesday, approximately an hour apart

Senate Bipartisan Bill Looks To Strengthen Mental Healthcare System

Cosponsor Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told TRNS he does project some reservation from GOP as mental health and gun violence are often connected and the bill allows the president to assign a new director of mental health in HHS that would “share” his opinion