Pentagon Hopes to Reduce Furlough Days


Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday that the Defense Department was hoping to reduce the number of furlough days required under across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration.

Defense announced last Thursday that it was going to delay the issuance of furlough notices for two weeks to analyze how the continuing resolution President Obama signed Tuesday affects the Pentagon’s budget. The spending bill shifted resources at Defense, moving nearly $10 billion into operations and maintenance accounts, and restoring the military’s tuition assistance program.

Little told reporters that the Pentagon hoped to “make a decision relatively soon” on furloughs and exceptions. Last week, the Army and Air Force released formal memos on the classes of employees that would not be subject to sequestration-related furloughs. Most of the exceptions are being given to employees paid through non-appropriated funds, intelligence personnel, or those who work in public safety and health positions.

A spokeswoman for Defense told Government Executive last week that furlough notices were expected to go out April 5, and furloughs would begin no earlier than May 6.

“This is a decision that we didn't take lightly, and it's problematic on many levels,” Little said on Tuesday. “But, when you're faced with a series of tough choices, this is one we felt like we had to make."

Per the 2011 Budget Control Act, the Defense Department must find a way to cut $46 billion by the end of fiscal 2013 on Sept. 30. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently told Asian defense ministers that he expected sequestration to be “temporary.”

(Image via Vacclav /

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.