Honorable Charles T. HagelSecretary
Defense PentagonWashington, D.C. 20301-1000Dear Secretary Hagel,
nation faces long-termfiscalchallenges,andthatall government
departments and agencies need
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
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.
March26, 2013,providedadditional Operations and Maintenance funds to provide
greater flexibilityto DOD. That fundingallowed for therecentlyannouncedreduction in
furloughs,which willprovidea small measure
remainstronglyconcernedthat anyfurloughs will
financial hardship through nofault
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.
alsofear thatfurlough could causelong-term damage inattracting newtalent intoDOD.
Reductioninpay,uncertainty,andhardshipcausedby furloughs could dissuade manywell
careers in the first place.Again,while the recentannouncementregarding the reduction infurlough daysprovidessome
remaingreatly concerned aboutthe impactany furloughs willhave.
urgeyouto makeevery effortandexamine every avenuepossibleto avoid any furloughs for the
also askfor the budgetaryanalysisthatexplains why the currently
the Department is unable tocompletely eliminatefurloughs,
urgeyou communicatetoCongressthe requirements, flexibility,
resourcesthat areneededtoavoidfurloughsandpreserve military readiness.