Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has issued the following statement on the Obama Administration's coercive tactics to hide the impact of sequestration and defense cuts:
"I am disturbed by the Obama Administration's shameful circumvention of the law in its effort to press Lockheed Martin not to issue layoff notices - despite the looming threat of sequestration and defense cuts.
"These layoff notices, required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, were scheduled to go out in early November to Lockheed Martin employees at risk of losing their jobs on January 2, 2013. Clearly, the Obama Administration did not want pink slips being sent to hundreds of thousands of defense workers before Election Day. So, it first urged defense contractors to ignore the WARN Act. The Administration then promised to help contractors with legal costs tied to the cancellation of contracts as a result of sequestration ONLY if contractors fell in line and ignored the law by NOT sending out layoff notices. In essence, the Obama Administration's message to defense contractors is, "Get on board or get stuck with expensive legal fees.'
"It is unacceptable for the Obama Administration to try to manipulate defense contractors and voters with these sleight of hand devious actions. The simple truth is that if sequestration occurs there will be layoffs throughout the defense industry -- and no promise from the Obama Administration will prevent that from happening.
The House has voted five times to find a constructive solution to the sequestration crisis. Instead of threatening defense contractors in exchange for their pledges not to issue layoff warnings, the Obama Adminstration should put pressure on the Senate to follow the lead of the House and pass its version of a solution. It is time for the Obama Administration to put the security of our country and job security above its goal of winning reelection."
Congresswoman Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, represents Missouri's Fourth Congressional District -- home to Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood.