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Letter to Rick Perry, Governor of Texas - Civilian Furloughs

The Texas Congressional delegation was copied on a letter sent to President Obama by Governor Perry regarding furloughs of civilian employees at the Department of Defense (DoD). In response, Congressman Pete P. Gallego (TX-23) along with nine other members of the Texas Congressional delegation asked Governor Perry to address the root cause of the furloughs -- the sequester -- which the Governor's correspondence failed to mention.

"It seems that Governor Perry is troubled by the civilian furloughs caused by the sequester, and so am I, along with the American people on both sides of the aisle" said Congressman Gallego. "This is an opportunity to have an honest conversation about the root cause of the detrimental policy and work in a bipartisan manner to fix the problem. If we all agree about the problem, I believe we can all agree to find a solution for the sake of our national defense and security. It's our job to find solutions."

The letter states:

"We agree that furloughs are very damaging to National Guard Military Technicians and DoD civilians. We are acutely aware of the serious damage that furloughs pose to Texas jobs as well as our national security and our economy."

"Since it seems that we all agree that sequestration is seriously harmful to our national security and to Texas jobs, your letter has opened the door to an excellent opportunity for all of us to work together in a bipartisan manner and advocate on behalf of Texans who sacrifice so much and serve our country."

The full text of the letter is below.

The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of Texas
Post Office Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711

Governor Perry:

Thank you for copying us on your letter to President Obama in which you asked that furloughs be eliminated on National Guard Military Technicians and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians.

We agree that furloughs are very damaging to National Guard Military Technicians and DoD civilians. We are acutely aware of the serious damage that furloughs pose to Texas jobs as well as our national security and our economy.

While we applaud you for recognizing these problems, your letter failed to mention their exact cause: sequestration. We were perplexed to see that you chose not to address the monumentally poor policy of sequestration, which is the irresponsible tool that has caused furloughs for DoD civilians and the National Guard's Military Technicians. A renewed focus on bipartisan action to replace sequestration is absolutely necessary.

We assume you are aware that only Congress can take the steps to eliminate the sequester. Consequently, we ask the following: Will you please write a letter -- similar to the one mentioned above -- to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, and the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, to demand that the sequester is replaced with a more fiscally responsible policy to fix our debt and deficit while not harming our national security and our economy?

Our constituents expect us, as elected officials, to put country ahead of party and work together to solve our most pressing issues, such as DoD furloughs. Since it seems that we all agree that sequestration is seriously harmful to our national security and to Texas jobs, your letter has opened the door to an excellent opportunity for all of us to work together in a bipartisan manner and advocate on behalf of Texans who sacrifice so much and serve our country.

We look forward to this opportunity to work with you in a bipartisan manner on behalf of Texans, Texas jobs, and our national security.

Sincerely,

Pete P. Gallego
Member of Congress (TX-23)

Joaquin Castro
Member of Congress (TX-20)

Gene Green
Member of Congress (TX-29)

Eddie Bernice Johnson
Member of Congress (TX-30)

Ruben Hinojosa
Member of Congress (TX-15)

Marc A. Veasey
Member of Congress (TX-33)

Henry Cuellar
Member of Congress (TX-28)

Beto O'Rourke
Member of Congress (TX-16)

Al Green
Member of Congress (TX-9)

Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of Congress (TX-18)


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