Representative Sean Patrick Maloney has sent a bipartisan letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denouncing the Department of Defense plan to furlough civilian employees and urges the Secretary to reconsider. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced plans to furlough about 800,000 civilian employees for 11 days due to the across-the-board cuts known as "sequestration."
"We absolutely need to cut spending, but the sequester is just a dumb plan from the last Congress," said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. "These ridiculous, arbitrary cuts hurt hardworking families, small businesses and communities like West Point - its far past the time for both parties to come together to pass a balanced, long term solution to cut spending and grow the economy."
The bi-partisan letter states: "Requiring unnecessary civilian furloughs is bad policy and has the appearance of an attempt to impose pain for political gain. We run the risk of losing civilian employees, or causing them unnecessary harm, who have invaluable institutional memory and who perform essential operations. We urge you to allow the departments and agencies under your leadership to avoid civilian furloughs if they are able. Our civilian workforce plays a key role in our national security and we should do all that we can to minimize the negative impact on them due to sequestration."
Rep. Maloney previously sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary Hagel after voting to give the Pentagon more flexibility on sequestration cuts. After visiting with employees from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rep. Maloney spoke on the House Floor to condemn congressional inaction and call for a balanced compromise.
Throughout the state, the sequester could cause approximately 12,000 civilian Department of Defense employees to be furloughed 11 days including the 2,016 employees at the United States Military Academy in West Point and 406 at the New York Air National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base.