February 20th, 2013
09:45 AM ET

80K civilian defense workers face furloughs

Nearly 800,000 civilian workers would be forced to take one day of leave per week without pay if automatic spending cuts go into effect as scheduled, the Defense Department told Congress on Wednesday morning.

The furloughs would start in the last week of April and last for 22 weeks, according to the Pentagon plan. It's unclear what would happen after the 22 weeks.

The Pentagon's plan is in response to the looming mandatory, across-the-board federal budget cuts - known as sequestration - that are due to start March 1. The cuts, mandated by a 2011 agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling, will take effect unless lawmakers come up with another deficit reduction plan.

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Filed under: Military • Politics
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. mandy

    Of course they say that. They don't want to give up any of their fancy toys.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • someone

      What fancy toys exactly??

      February 20, 2013 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Mandy, you are clueless; do you think giving up "fancy toys" is that easy? Those "same fancy" toys that provide your freedom, ensures our cyber infrastructure remains intact and provides a deterrent against aggression; the same "fancy toys" that allow your freedom of speech..........

      February 20, 2013 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Pedro Lopez

      Like the F35. CNN just had an article on the boondoggle. But it is popular because parts are built in about 45 states. Weapon contractors know how to spread the pork around. The every time the Pentagon wants close unneeded military bases COngress, Republican as well as Democrat, start screaming "We have to save jobs!" And how about the fact the US has more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined. And don't get me started on Homeland security and messed up prison policies. My guess is that about 1/3 of the gov't budget could be cut in those areas.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Apparently teacher jobs aren't necessary while bombmaker jobs are.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • someone

      Very narrow viewpoint of what defense workers actually do. Nobody said teachers are worth less- well, you did. I'm not one of those workers fortunately, -defense. They have families too. They have low level low pay positions too.

      No matter how bad things get we as a country still have to keep up our national defense system. With the China, Russia, and the likes of who knows what North Korea will do, the last thing we need is to let our guard down.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • RTUP

      Federal dollars should not be used to pay for teachers. Sucker bet.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bees?

      How many people have the education to be able to design a nuclear weapon? How many people have a high school diploma, some college, and qualify for a teaching certificate? Not saying teachers aren't important, but they sure as hell don't have the specialized skill set of a bomb maker...

      February 20, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Samie

    Who so called "defense" is defending if our border can be crossed unnoticed by millions?

    February 20, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • SB

      Were talking about he military not border patrol.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If drastic cuts ensue across the board, lets hope red states that voted for these bigoted racist right wing politicians pay the price for their complacency, ignorance and stupidy.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      And yet this whole sequestration plan was who's idea? Not the reds.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      It's the left that is stupid by not living within it's means. We are out of money and borrowing more every day. That's a very bad legacy to leave to my kids. Do you balance your checkbook at home? Why shouldn't Congress and the President balance the nation's checkbook. My kids and their kids will pay the price for our recklessness.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


      And meanwhile $5.4 trillion has been wasted on two foreign wars. Fiscal responsibility or rather wasteful spending???

      February 20, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    The fact that there are 800,000 of them should be a red flag in itself.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    $46 billion in cuts and 800,000 will lose their jobs? BS! It is a scary tactic. Congress just passed $50 billion for Sandy Aid without a blink of the eye. There is money there. Do not let these damn democrats lie to you!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Joyce

      I believe they did blink their eyes a few times before they passsed it, of coursee a repub wouldn't remember that.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      [ Not directed at Scott (the original poster), but expanding on his point a bit]

      > Don't let those damn democrats

      The sequester was a bipartisan ms-fire, which grew out of the failed bipartisan deficit reduction committee...

      Don't let EITHER party do it to you. If you haven't called your Senators and Reps and demanded better (regardless of your party affiliation), YOU are part of the problem.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Actually, there was no money there for Sandy, unless we just continue to print wheelbarrows full of money like the Europeans did....we just keep spending and spending, printing more money, inflating the debt...and as a federal employee myself, I am somewhat disgruntled that I'll be taking an unpaid day once a week, while the idiots in congress and the presidents administration continue to receive full benefits in spite of their incompetence...

      February 20, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Hey Blah Blah, none of this is about race. It is all about the government not performing its job starting with the president down to the lowest paid government employee. I hope the cuts do get put in place, maybe that will show the current players in government how bad they are doing. I for one am sick and tired of seeing my tax dollars wasted day after day, year after year. We need to replace everyone from the top down and do what is right for the country and our citizens.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      We don't need no stinkin governments......no federal, no state, no local. Lots of luck!!!

      February 20, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. TheMann

    Thats were we need to start, is with the governments USELESS JOBS

    February 20, 2013 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremie

      "TheMann," did you ever stop to ask yourself what any of those 800K federal employees do? I'm one of them, and my mission its to support our country's warfighters every day. I also spent 20 years in the Army defending our country(and your right to be an idiot). Before you start condemning 800K workers with families to provide for, why don't you tell us what you're doing for your country that makes you so qualified to pass judgement?

      February 20, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. gager

    Hey,welcome to the free market and your contribution to real production.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Whome

    Welcome to the real world, deal with it the same as the rest of us.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      How about it! The culture needs to change; "We have to stop relying on the government and make the government start relying on the people..." That is what this country was built on .....not free surplus cheese

      February 20, 2013 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. JC

    That is the point. to lower costs, to decrease spending. "Having a better life than our parents" is not a sustainable model. We can't all live in 14,000 sq ft homes. And, in the end, it is all politics. There is money for Sandy, Iraq, Egypt, Gun Control....stop peeing on my leg and telling me its raining. Stop spending, act like grown ups..sorry, responsible grown ups

    February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Say what?

    people talk bad about the government, but when the government job is taken away, lets see how much the public will like it. Only when it affects YOU, will you care...

    February 20, 2013 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Its not about a "bad government", its about unsustainable models. You can have the pain of change that changing today demands or you can have the pain of tomorrow and the pain of tomorrow grows exponentially. It is a simple situation, just not an easy one.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    I work for the Department of Defense. It is full of waste. The problem is that Congress will not cut the waste. We need no more C-130s. Congress says to keep building them. The same can be said for other weapons systems. We train men and women to lead our military and then ignore their recommendations for cuts. We are talking Congressmen and Senators who know nothing about defense telling our military leaders how to fight wars. 2%? Let us cut the whole budget by 10% by just eliminating waste.
    Wait for Congress to tell the post office to continue Saturday deliveries. We are insane! Obama will accomplish his goal to destroy this country with help from both parites!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So far the Bowles-Simpson task force established by President Obama in 2010 is devised to save us $2.4 trillion over the next decade, while the republicans are yet to devise a plan to reduce the national debt or replinish the $5.4 trillion they've wasted on their foreign wars. O' wait, their plan to reign in spending and reduce the deficit includes laying off police officers, firefighters and first responders, air traffic controllers and airport security personnel and thousands of teachers and slashing funding for Homeland Security and for the TSA responsible for screening passengers and cargo for bombs and guns and limiting funding for infrastructure, all while fighting to continue more Bush era corporate food stamps and tax haven handouts for the wealthy. Outrageous.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Its outrageous that the left plan is to increase spending. The reds are on board for higher taxes without increasing our debt.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. someone else

    This government is in need of a full blown makeover. If they would stop giving bonuses and stop paying congress and other higher government employees that don't need it or DESERVE it, we wouldn't be in this boat right now. This government has no money management skills what so ever. They don't do anything for this country besides dig us in a deeper hole.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • ash

      There is no money to manage..... LOL

      February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Log

      Interesting... so no government employees that fits your characterization of being a higer level employee (I wonder what your definition of higher level employee is) should get paid because they do not deserve. Hmmm, what in your mind would they have to do to deserve their pay? How much money should government employees be allowed to make?

      February 20, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
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