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. dupperbob

    The DoD has shipped so many civil jobs to China over the years that this nail in the grave will not be noticed.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      So whats the problem?? Millions of Americans have NO job thanks to obama.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ryan

    I am one if those defense workers! Not sure what fancy toys you are talked about. But if five and six year old cars and a small house are that. Boy you must be rich then! It does not matter democrats or republican they all are worth less. Don't see anyone in congress taking a pay cut!!! They are the problem fire them all!!!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan

    Washington DC big joke!!!!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. dub

    John Boehner "i got 98% of what I wanted" Cons cant have it both ways

    February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. lvas

    What this country needs:
    1. Outlaw all lobbyist in City of Wash DC. (make it against the law to lobby Congress in DC)
    2. Completely scrap the 10,000 pages of tax code and rewrite it – in 10 pages or less.
    3. Across the board spending cuts of 10% in all federal programs – defense dept included.
    4. Raise Medicare and SSN ages to 64 and means test both.
    5. VAT tax on imports – lets make foreign goods more expensive to put things on even playing field.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • ronvan

      Not much more to say! 1 thru 5 I totally agree!

      February 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Patrick O'brien

      I agree with what the CNN Mideratof thinks.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Boot

    Too bad most of you don't realize the effect this actually has on the defense department. Since I'm part of it, I see first hand. Our forces will be massively degraded by loosing our civilian workforce. Who do you think fixes our airplanes and keeps our Air Power flying? Certainly, the services maintain their Aircraft, but when major repairs are made, it's the civilian workforce that do the repairs. This is just a miniscule example of the of the impact the civilian workforce has on the readiness of our Nations defense. Don't be ignorant if you don't know what your talking about!!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Yes, we need to relearn. We need to do more with less. That is the problem. i don't like not being able to have what I want when ever I want it too but that is the reality.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. yohi60

    Republicans were warned about their debt ceiling antics. The polls bit them.

    Republicans were warned about nominating the likes of Mourdock. The polls bit them.

    Republicans were warned about the 47% comments. The polls bit them.

    Republicans are being warned about the effects of sequestration on the country and the GOP.

    As Obama so eloquently put it, "Please proceed, governor."

    February 20, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      I love the 47% thing.....now the 47% is the group that the President appears to be completely ignoring...too funny...or, not really

      February 20, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kitty

      and who demanded this sequester in 2011? Yes, Obama did. Who passed it after his demand? Yes, congress did. Why do you folks continually evade this fact when debating this subject?

      February 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam

    Yes, there is plenty of blame for all involved regarding this budget mess. The reality is that the president presents a budget, but it is congress that enacts the budget by voting. Then the president enforces the action of congress. So with a do nothing congress and a house that wants to cry rather than act like law makers, we have spineless ninnies that point aimlessly at each other.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    800,000 possible facing layoffs??? Ummm. I wonder what's the GOPT's prospects at the next mid term???

    February 20, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      If they stand their ground and provide actual leadership instead of dictatorship...probably better than you might think. Should be interesting.

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

    So, how do you liberals like Obamaquester now?

    It obviously makes more sense to cut out the $113B we paid in welfare to illegal aliens in 2012 than to make any cuts at all to the military budget, but Obama would never do that because how can he take over the House if his dem congressional candidates don't have the votes of illegal aliens?

    It has become clear now that neither Obama nor his followers have the slightest idea how to fix the Country's economy. Every other recession recovery has been led by small businesses hiring and creating new jobs. We are still mired in 8% unemployment – and about to go back into another recession – because Obama has been waging war on small businesses since Day 1. Just check out the small business sentiment index since Obama was elected. If he would focus on helping small businesses – rather than shunning them – then, and only then, will we have a reasonable hope of unemployment falling significantly and the economy fully recovering.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ..

      The GOP creadted this sequestration situation and then slaps the name of the President on it and pretends smart people won't notice. I noticed. You didn't. The duplicity of the GOP knows no limits.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kitty

      @..says. You are sadly misinformed. The prez demanded this in 2011. Congress then passed his demand. If you would get off the liberal websites who coddle to Obama on everything you would know this. Ignorance must be bliss

      February 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Concerned

    I am one of those Government workers, in charge of Government workers and contractors. I've already had to let contractors go and they are vital to my ability to succeed in our mission requirements. It pains me to talk to my employees and discover the heartache that they (and I) will be feeling with basically a 20% cut in our pay. Salt to the wound is also an extension of pay freezes unitl next year, a total of 4 years running. It is an honor to contiue to serve our country, but painful nonetheless.
    The global community has been the reciepent of America's guidance and sharing of her wealth and defense. While we can't totally withdraw from the community, we must find our new industries that will produce product and jobs to revive and reposition ourselves. Preservation of America and her way of life is going to be key if we are to contiune to lead.
    Congress, Mr. President, – I've served in two wars for our Country, worked countless hours to support her. I expect the same from you! Get off of your comfortable chairs and put in ALL of the hours necessary to resolve our nations fiscal issues!

    February 20, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. ronvan

    ALL OF US ARE AT FAULT!!!! WE blame our "elected children", righfully so, BUT WE, continue to re elect them! WE want change but only if it doesn't affect us! WE have allowed lobbyists, special interest groups, etc., to take CONTROL of our government, YET, we just stand around and do nothing! Immigration: Nothing new, it been ongoing for 50+ years! NOW we want them out! Reality says that we can do this, but, get ready for produce to go up 300+ %!
    FACE it, the GOOD LIFE, is over and we HAVE to make some BIG decisions about our future!

    February 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ronvan

    MORE EXAMPLES: Of how we have trapped ourselves! First let me say that I am a Ret. Army Viet Nam Vet.! So I am pro military! HOWEVER, I do not support wars, everywhere, just because someone yells "its in our natiional security interests"! The term has become an EXCUSE to get involved in things that we did not need to do! Also our magnificent military is so technologically advanced, weapons and equipment, that I could only have dreamed of having, that they CAN do more with less! During MY days in the military WE took care of ourselves! Guard duty, mess hall duty, police calls, you name it. NOW everything is contracted out & to change would mean even more civilian jobs lost!
    The military has some WORLD CLASS chefs! Water, Electricity, on base housing, ALL contracted out! YES, there are jobs that need to be done by civilians, but alot of these tasks could be done within the military if they were not being "shipped" all over the world!

    February 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      When you have an all volunteer force...you want to have as many folks concentrating on war fighting as possible. You dont want someone with advanced Infantry training peeling potatoes !

      February 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Patrick O'brien

      I'm a chef. Wasn't in the military but still a good one.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. julie in memphis

    BRAVO!!! We've been doing that every year at our place of business for about the last three... from 10 -20 weeks each year. We've also had our benefits slashed and, no raises in 5 years, and an end to 401K matching. But we still have jobs. I have a friend who works for social security and is all against handouts etc etc but has never had to take a pay cut or seen any of the changes the rest of us have had to endure. it's about time the gov's own employees get a little taste of their own medicine.

    February 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobcat (in a hat)©

    You have got to stop this immediately. You are making too much sense. That is not acceptable on these blogs.

    February 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronvan

      LOL, TY

      February 21, 2013 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
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