Defense Furloughs Begin Without Any Action From Congress

As Congress returns to session this week, the hard-working civilians in the Department of Defense who keep our country safe are facing the beginning of furloughs as a result of the sequester. For those Republicans who’ve forgotten about the sequester or say it doesn’t have an impact, here’s a refresher of what it means to thousands of Americans:

“A day without pay, the first of 11 through September, comes this week for more than 650,000 people who hold civilian jobs with the Defense Department. But officials worry that the Pentagon will be hit even harder in 2014 by having to impose layoffs if automatic budget cuts continue as planned.”

“About 85 percent of the department’s nearly 900,000 civilians around the world will be furloughed one day each week over the next three months, according to the latest statistics provided by the Pentagon. But while defense officials were able to shift money around to limit the impact of the cuts to furloughs this year, thousands of civilian, military and contract jobs could be on the chopping block next year.”

“Hopes that the number of furlough days could be reduced next year have largely been dashed. Instead, talk is focused more on how to slash spending. Because the department can exact only 22 furlough days a year, it faces the possibility of having to impose layoffs.”

While civilian defense employees are forced to take a pay cut and face uncertainty about their future, the House Republican leadership refuses to take action to finish a budget that would replace the sequester.  Way to stand up for those working to protect our country.