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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense - Cutler Naval Station Furloughs

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree sent a letter to Defense Secretary Hagel expressing concerns over furloughs in Maine due to the sequester.

"Some shipyard workers in our state have been spared from furloughs because they are considered critical employees, which is a relief to those employees and their families. Other Navy employees, including those at Cutler Naval Station, however, are still facing 11 furlough days between now and the end of the fiscal year, despite increased funding and identified savings. Congress appropriated $510.6 billion of discretionary funding to DOD in FY13. Given that the furlough of DOD employees is anticipated to save only $1.8 billion, it is hard to understand why they were deemed necessary to meet sequestration requirements," wrote Michaud and Pingree.

The full text of the letter can be found below.

May 23, 2013

Dear Secretary Hagel:

We are writing to express concern that the Department of Defense has not comprehensively tried to avoid furloughs to comply with the mandated cuts of sequestration.

H.R. 933, the FY13 Continuing Resolution, provided increased flexibility and funding for the DOD, including $10 billion in additional funding for the Operations and Maintenance accounts. In addition, recent news reports indicate that some Branches, including the Navy, have identified savings that would avoid furloughing any of its civilian employees.

Some shipyard workers in our state have been spared from furloughs because they are considered critical employees, which is a relief to those employees and their families. Other Navy employees, including those at Cutler Naval Station, however, are still facing 11 furlough days between now and the end of the fiscal year, despite increased funding and identified savings. Congress appropriated $510.6 billion of discretionary funding to DOD in FY13. Given that the furlough of DOD employees is anticipated to save only $1.8 billion, it is hard to understand why they were deemed necessary to meet sequestration requirements.

We ask you to provide a detailed list of the efforts taken by the Department of Defense to find savings in ways other than hour reductions. We also ask you to provide an explanation on why individual military branches, such as the Navy, were not permitted to achieve savings in ways other than furloughs.

The decision by the Department of Defense to require furloughs unnecessarily harms civilian employees, and we remain concerned that not enough effort was made to avoid them.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Michaud Chellie Pingree
Member of Congress Member of Congress


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