Pentagon’s top two leaders stand with civilian employees facing unpaid leave.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will forfeit part of his salary as a show of solidarity with civilians facing unpaid furlough days, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Tuesday.
Little told reporters at a press briefing that Hagel would take a pay cut during the furlough period at Defense, now estimated to begin in mid-June. Little did not specify the amount of Hagel’s salary cut.
Defense civilians face 14 furlough days, with some exceptions for intelligence workers and public health and safety employees. The continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2013, recently signed by President Obama, shifted $10 billion into the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance accounts, allowing some furlough relief. But it did not entirely eliminate the need for civilian furloughs.
Hagel’s announcement follows that of Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who told the Senate Appropriations Committee in February that he would voluntarily give up 20 percent of his salary if Defense employees were furloughed because of across-the-board cuts from sequestration. Several other government officials said they would also take a pay cut if federal employees were furloughed, including Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton D-D.C.