Defense Department Set to Announce Furlough Plan Wednesday
February 19, 2013
The Defense Department intends to notify Congress on Wednesday of a plan to furlough nearly 800,000 civilian employees one day each week beginning in April, a defense official said Tuesday.
Federal law requires the Pentagon to warn Congress of furloughs at least 45 days in advance, and other regulations require direct notification of employees at least 30 days in advance.
Cutting workdays and pay will happen if Congress does not find a way to avert budget cuts known as “sequestration,” which are scheduled to kick in March 1 and cut $500 billion out of the Pentagon budget over the coming decade. Military leaders have warned of constricted operations, reduced weapons buys and eventually, reduced end strength for the services.
For now, however, military troops are spared a direct impact of sequestration on their paychecks, and most civilian workers will be the first to bear the brunt.
Defense officials say the most likely scenario would be 22 days of furlough – one day each week – beginning in the last week of April and running through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.