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Search Tags: Chuck Hagel
Furlough days for Defense Department civilians are being cut from 11 to 6, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the department found sufficient savings in the final months of the current fiscal year to lessen the burden on those who have had to take a day off a week without pay since early July.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says service members will have to share in the pain of sequestration if the automatic budget cuts continue into next year. In a Pentagon press briefing Wednesday, Hagel laid out a "menu of options" for dealing with sequestration in 2014 and beyond, including changes to military pay and benefits, consolidating headquarters staff and a potential modest reduction in military force structure.
The military's two top ranking officers said in a Senate confirmation hearing that the department has been working on the plan for the past two weeks and should complete it by October.
The budget reductions for Pentagon staff and top military brass are targeted for the 2015-2019 timeframe. Pentagon spokesman George Little says personnel reductions associated with these savings will be determined during the development of detailed execution plans.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put the ball in Congress' court this week when he released details of how the Pentagon would manage billions of dollars in cuts if sequestration continues into fiscal 2014 and beyond. But, there's not yet anything close to a winning strategy in Congress to avert or replace the automatic budget cuts.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter to Congress that if spending caps continue under sequestration, marked cuts in DoD's budget would possibly lead to reductions in force. Hagel also said there could be severe cuts in operations and maintenance.
Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale says the Pentagon has the legal authority to furlough DoD civilians paid out of working-capital funds. Hale was responding to an earlier letter from Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), and more than two dozen other lawmakers, who wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month requesting the legal rationale for furloughing working-capital fund employees.
Approximately 85 percent of the Defense Department's civilian workforce -- more than 650,000 employees -- will be staying home Monday, as the first of DoD's cost-cutting furlough days goes into effect. The furloughs were put in place to offset automatic, across-the-board spending cuts implemented by sequestration. DoD estimates the furloughs will save between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion.