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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:25 AM

Panetta Notifies Congress of Pentagon Plan To Furlough Civilians (22 days of unpaid leave)

By David Alexander

WASHINGTON | Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:44pm EST

(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally notified Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon plans to put civilian defense employees on unpaid leave this year if $46 billion in across-the-board U.S. government spending cuts take effect on March 1.

The announcement of congressional notification begins a 45-day process that could ultimately lead to 22 days of unpaid leave for most of the department's 800,000 civilian employees around the globe.

In a letter released by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Panetta said the furloughs would be "disruptive and damaging" to the Pentagon's defense mission, but there were no "viable alternatives" to reduce spending if the budget cuts occur.

President Barack Obama has been sounding the alarm about the impact of the $85 billion in automatic across-the-board government spending cuts due to take effect starting next month. The president turned to local television stations across the country on Wednesday to increase public pressure on congressional Republicans to avert the cuts.

MORE...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-usa-fiscal-defense-idUSBRE91J0SW20130220

12 replies, 854 views

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:27 AM

1. Cry me a fucking river...22 days? Ask some of those that have been out of work for 3+ years or

more.

Go stand in line at the unemployment office, food stamp line with the rest of the 'real economy' and breath deep as you realize you will be back to work in '22 days'.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:54 AM

4. Kicking for this post. n/t

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:13 AM

7. Your compassion is impressive.

Do you hate everyone who has a job or just government employees?

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Response to Llewlladdwr (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:06 AM

12. I've seen 'compassion' first hand here in Michigan when the auto factories started shutting down

back in 2007. Many were gleeful that our 'overpaid, lazy union workers' were kicked to the curb.

Yep...guess I've run out of 'compassion'.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:11 AM

11. It would be 1 day every week, so no unemployment.

I see you are awash in envy. How sad.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:31 AM

2. Is he cancelling any weapons systems contracts?

A friend of mine told me about these furlough plans last week. This is all about politics -- trying to make it as painful as possible so that Congress won't cut the budget.

We should cut the Pentagon budget by 40% -- but not abruptly. Stage that over 5 years so that it can be done mostly through natural attrition, and the departments can gracefully adjust to their new level.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:02 AM

5. He doesn't have that latitude. That's congress fault.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:06 AM

6. I'm not sure that is true

Every government contract has an escape clause in event of non-funding. While Panetta might not be able to completely terminate a large contract, he can certainly withhold payments. Fundamentally that is no different from laying off people. It is all expense and it is all budgeted.

I'm just sayin' that the Republicans would have a whole different reaction if Boeing had its wealth threatened. Republicans don't give a shit about working people, especially government employees. They love the troops, but a big part of those furloughs hit people who aren't in uniform.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:55 AM

9. He stated this is the reason they had to go with furloughs.

 

DoD has already said they don't want certain projects but they can't get congress to cooperate.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:33 AM

3. Let's see, if there is no Secretary of Defense, maybe the Pentagon can't implement the cuts

Wouldn't that be an interesting twist? Whom can you hold accountable for not implementing the cuts if Congress has not confirmed a Secretary?

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:44 AM

8. These people could be working on infrastructure jobs with other Americans. But GOP says NO!

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:02 AM

10. As a former contractor and federal employee

22 days is just a blip, I doubt the public or military would really miss them for that length of time since its usually not the most productive environment to work in in the first place.

It doesn't have to be 22 days straight either, one day a week for 22 weeks, hell nobody ever did much on Friday anyway lol.

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