Lawmaker, Union Decry 'Dumb Decisions' as Defense Furloughs Kick In

“Today marks the day the people of the Hudson Valley pay for the dysfunction of the last Congress,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said on the first day of furloughs for roughly 650,000 Defense civilians. “Today marks the day the people of the Hudson Valley pay for the dysfunction of the last Congress,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said on the first day of furloughs for roughly 650,000 Defense civilians. Stuart Ramson/AP file photo

Union leaders and a lawmaker representing civilian employees at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point told personal stories at a press conference Monday to demonstrate the effects of furloughs at the Defense Department.

“Today marks the day the people of the Hudson Valley pay for the dysfunction of the last Congress,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., said on the first day of furloughs for roughly 650,000 Defense civilians.

Maloney -- a freshman Congressman -- said the unpaid leave will have a “big impact” not just on the families of the furloughed workers, but also on the local economies that depend on the employees for business.

People at West Point are “filled with angst and anxiety about how they will deal with this,” said Don Hale, head of the American Federation of Government Employees local that represents civilians there.

Hale said some employees must choose between continuing medical treatment and “putting food on the table for their families.” Other, lower-grade workers may face homelessness as a result of the furloughs, he added.

Both Hale and Maloney called for more responsible cuts to the Defense Department budget.

“We have to reduce the deficit in a meaningful way,” Hale said, “not just on the back of DoD civilians.”

Maloney said congressional leadership should “lock the doors” of the House chamber until a deal to replace sequestration is struck.

“These are dumb decisions that the last Congress made,” he said, “and we can do better.”  

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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