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Letter to Secretary Chuck Hagel from Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dave Loebsack regarding the Rock Island Arsenal, April 1, 2013

Letter to Secretary Chuck Hagel from Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dave Loebsack regarding the Rock Island Arsenal, April 1, 2013

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Published by RepCheriBustos
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) urged the Department of Defense (DOD) to avoid making any civilian furloughs this year. In a joint letter to the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, Bustos and Loebsack reiterated their opposition to sequestration and said that while all government departments and agencies need to tighten their belts, the recent decision to furlough the civilian workforce for 14 days this fiscal year could not only have a lasting negative impact on morale, readiness, national security, and safety, but could also deal a big blow to local communities across the country, including the Quad Cities region in Illinois and Iowa, which is home to the Rock Island Arsenal.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) urged the Department of Defense (DOD) to avoid making any civilian furloughs this year. In a joint letter to the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, Bustos and Loebsack reiterated their opposition to sequestration and said that while all government departments and agencies need to tighten their belts, the recent decision to furlough the civilian workforce for 14 days this fiscal year could not only have a lasting negative impact on morale, readiness, national security, and safety, but could also deal a big blow to local communities across the country, including the Quad Cities region in Illinois and Iowa, which is home to the Rock Island Arsenal.

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Published by: RepCheriBustos on Apr 01, 2013
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03/22/2014

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The
Honorable Charles T. HagelSecretary
ofDefense
I
00
Defense PentagonWashington, D.C. 20301-1000Dear Secretary Hagel,
April1,
2013
We
understand that
our
nation faces long-termfiscalchallenges,andthatall government departments and agencies need
to
tighten their beltsandlook for waysto cut costs.Weare deeplyopposedto sequestration and continue tosupportreplacing it with real, responsible,and balanced deficit reduction. However, wealso fearthat the decision by the Department
of
Defense (DOD) to furlough the civilian workforce for 14 days thisfiscal year couldnotonly have a lasting negative impact on morale, readiness, national security,and safety,but willalso havesignificant economic consequencesin localcommunitiesand acrossthecountry.
The
recentlypassed
Consolidated
and
Further ContinuingAppropriationsAct,
which becamelaw
on
March26, 2013,providedadditional Operations and Maintenance funds to provide greater flexibilityto DOD. That fundingallowed for therecentlyannouncedreduction in furloughs,which willprovidea small measure
of
relief. However,
we
remainstronglyconcernedthat anyfurloughs will
put
families
at
risk
of
financial hardship through nofault
of
theirown andcould be a big blow to localeconomiesthroughout the country, includingour region in IllinoisandIowa. Theycould alsojeopardizesecurity clearances, family stability, abilityto meet mission requirements,and worksite safety.
We
alsofear thatfurlough could causelong-term damage inattracting newtalent intoDOD. Reductioninpay,uncertainty,andhardshipcausedby furloughs could dissuade manywell qualifiedandtalented individualsfrompursuing
DOD
careers in the first place.Again,while the recentannouncementregarding the reduction infurlough daysprovidessome measure
of
relief,
we
remaingreatly concerned aboutthe impactany furloughs willhave.
We
urgeyouto makeevery effortandexamine every avenuepossibleto avoid any furloughs for the remainder
ofFY13.
We
also askfor the budgetaryanalysisthatexplains why the currently plannedfurloughs arenecessary.
If
the Department is unable tocompletely eliminatefurloughs,
we
urgeyou communicatetoCongressthe requirements, flexibility,
or
resourcesthat areneededtoavoidfurloughsandpreserve military readiness.
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