U.S.

April 5, 2013

Hagel announces fewer furlough days for civilians

Tags:
Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey brief the media in the Pentagon on March 28, 2013. Hagel and Dempsey discussed the ongoing sequester, the impact of furloughs, and recent provocative actions on the part of North Korea.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Defense Department has revised from 22 to 14 the number of days, hundreds of thousands of civilian employees could be furloughed this year because of the budget sequester, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced, March 29.

In addition, a senior Defense Department official speaking on background, told reporters the start of the furloughs will be delayed until mid-to-late June, after more than 700,000 department employees receive furlough notices now set to go out in early May.

 Furloughs would happen over seven two-week pay periods until the end of September, when the current fiscal year ends, the senior official said, with employees likely to be told not to come to work for two days during each of those pay periods.

Department officials say they are still working to determine which employees might be exempted.

Hagel characterized the reduced furloughs, as well as a revised estimate of sequestration’s impact on the defense budget as good news. The changes follow Congressional approval last week of a defense appropriations bill that prevented an additional six billion dollars in cuts, ordered under sequestration, from taking effect.

“It reduces a shortfall in the operations budget,” the secretary told reporters at a Pentagon news conference. “We came out better than we went in under the sequester, where it looks like our number is $41 billion in cuts now versus $46 billion.”

But despite a Congressional reprieve, Hagel said the Pentagon is still going to be short at least $22 billion for operations and maintenance, “which means we are going to have to prioritize and make some cuts and do what we’ve got to do,” including making sharp reductions in base operating support and training for nondeployed units.

More critical in the long run, he said, is how budget cuts will affect readiness and the department’s overall mission. Because of that concern, he said he has directed Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to conduct an intensive department-wide review of U.S. strategic interests, including how to protect the nation with fewer resources.

“How do we prioritize the threats and then the capabilities required to deal with threats?” he said. “There will be some significant changes, there’s no way around it.”

Dempsey said the department has already exhausted 80 percent of its operating funds halfway through the fiscal year and characterized the current budget situation as “not the deepest, but the steepest decline in our budget ever,” and warned it will affect military readiness into the future.

“We will have to trade at some level and to some degree, our future readiness for current operations,” the chairman said. He called on elected leaders to give the Pentagon the budget flexibility it needs to carry out institutional reforms.

“We can’t afford excess equipment,” Dempsey said. “We can’t afford excess facilities. We have to reform how we buy weapons and services. We have to reduce redundancy. And we’ve got to change, at some level, our compensation structure.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
taxes-art

Tax season deadline looms, free filing available

On April 15, the regular tax season comes to an end. Unless you qualify for an automatic extension (deployed anytime from Jan. 1 – April 15, 2014), or you file for an extension, you need to have filed your return. Why not...
 
 
slide1a

It’s Washington’s Birthday, not President’s Day

President’s Day goes by with little notice, except for some schools and federal employees getting to ‘observe’ the holiday. Supermarkets and retail stores advertise President’s Day sales hoping to draw in those lucky en...
 
 

Black History Month 2014, Civil Rights Act to turn 50

Courtesy Photo President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law, July 2, 1964. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. During the observance of this year’s Black History Month, America will celebrate 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed into...
 

 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps with identity theft, data breaches

Headlines about large scale data breaches can be scary, but don’t panic. There are steps you can take to protect yourself. If your information was part of a breach, the most immediate risk is that the thieves may make unauthorized charges or debits to your accounts. Keep a close eye on your account activity and...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko

Female Firsts for Naval Warfare Center

U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko Capt. Eric Ver Hage, background left, and Dr. William Luebke, Senior Executive Service, commanding officer and technical director, respectively, at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Divisio...
 
 

Dempsey calls on Americans to discuss civil-military relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – America’s all-volunteer military has been a success, but society at large and service members must ensure a shared understanding exists between them, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a commentary in the Washington Post today. Dempsey described the all-volunteer force as one of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin