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Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), wrote to the heads of 10 defense companies seeking information about the legal justification for not issuing notices of potential layoffs due to the across-the-board defense cuts set to go into effect Jan. 2. If contractors don't issue the notices and contracts are, in fact, terminated or modified, then agencies will pick up the contract-termination and employee compensation costs, the Office of Management and Budget stated in guidance issued late last month. But Republican lawmakers have argued the White House doesn't have the legal authority to ask companies to not comply with the law.
Defense industry executives have spent the last few weeks warning that across-the-board budgets cuts that go into effect in January, could force them to issue notifications to employees in the fall to warn of impending layoffs. However, in a new memo issued Monday, the Labor Department said the lack of clarity about how the cuts would be applied means it would be "inappropriate" to issue Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notifications.
On the In Depth show blog, you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources. Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, discusses whether sequestration can be averted.
The House handily approved a bipartisan bill requiring the Obama administration to provide more information about how automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, will be implemented starting in January. While the vote cut across party lines, lawmakers continue to disagree about ways to come up with alternatives.
A slate of defense industry executives lined up to testify before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration would be devastating to their businesses and could lead to mass layoffs. The lack of action by Congress, so far, to avert the cuts has led to a "fog of uncertainty" even now, five months away from when sequestration would take effect, the CEO of Lockheed Martin testified.