Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Pentagon announced a reduction in furlough days for civilian defense workers:
“While it is disappointing that the Pentagon has had to impose furlough days for civilian defense workers, thanks to cost-saving efforts announced by the Pentagon today, the eleven furlough days employees had been expected to take have now been reduced to six. This means that those civilian defense employees who have already taken six furlough days will now be able to complete the full fiscal year, through the end of September, without losing additional workdays and pay and falling further behind in serving our troops in the field. For our hard-working men and women in civilian roles at the Department of Defense, including those I met with in July at Pax River and Indian Head in Maryland's Fifth District, this news will surely come as a measure of relief.
"While this is a welcome announcement, I agree with Secretary Hagel that our military readiness remains significantly eroded as a result of the furloughs taken so far and reduced funding for training and equipment as a result of the sequester. There ought to be no doubt that sequestration is an irrational and senseless policy that will only put our economy and national security at greater and greater risk if it is allowed to remain in effect. That is why Congress must reach a compromise to replace the sequester with a big, balanced, and bipartisan alternative - and do it before the new fiscal year brings even deeper sequester cuts. I hope that negotiations to reach such an agreement can resume when Congress returns to session in September."