House bill reduces federal workforce to avoid defense cuts

Thursday - 12/15/2011, 8:56am EST

Jared Serbu, DoD reporter, Federal News Radio

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By Jolie Lee
@jleewfed
Federal News Radio

A bill introduced in the House would cut 10 percent of the federal workforce to avoid the first year of automatic cuts to the Defense Department.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced the proposal on Wednesday.

Last month's failure of the debt reduction supercommittee to find $1.2 trillion in savings over a decade triggered a process known as sequestration, automatic, across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending. Defense spending would be cut by $500 billion, on top of the $465 billion cut this year, McKeon said in a release.

The bill — the Down Payment To Protect National Security Act — would achieve the 10 percent federal workforce reduction over a decade by hiring only one federal employee for every three who retire, according to a release from McKeon.

McKeon said his bill would save the government $127 billion. He added that more than half of the deficit reduction efforts have come from the military.

"The troops simply don't have any more to give," McKeon said in a statement. "It is time we address our debt crisis sensibly, by literally shrinking the size of government."

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