Skip to comments.First furloughs hit Congress
Posted on 04/10/2013 5:09:30 PM PDT by SkyPilot
As federal departments and agencies deal with automatic budget cuts and the possibility of furloughs for federal workers, those forced pay cuts have now arrived on Capitol Hill, as Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) became the first lawmaker to officially announce staff furloughs due to the $85 billion sequester.
"Begichs staff began mandatory furloughs in mid-March and more than half of his staff will experience a cut in their salary this year," said a press release issued by Begich's office on Wednesday.
The same release also said that Begich would be returning some of his salary to the Treasury to match the highest number of furlough days experienced by his own staff, a move like that of President Obama and the Secretary of Defense.
While several lawmakers like Begich have previously said they would give up pay because of the sequester, the announcement of his staff furloughs seems to be the first official notice of forced days off without pay for those working directly for lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate.
"We need to be making responsible cuts wherever we can and there is no reason that members of Congress shouldn't feel the pinch like everyone else," Begich was quoted in his news release.
As this blog detailed in recent weeks, just like the varied impact of sequester cuts across the federal government, not every lawmaker will have to make cuts and/or furlough staff in order to deal with smaller office budgets - but it will likely be more than just this one Senator from Alaska.
As for whether more lawmakers will follow the lead of Begich, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others in returning some of their pay, that answer is not as clear.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsbradio.com ...
Wow. Just wow.
I know why Biden won't take a pay cut: he does not have much money. Really.
He is one of the least richest members of the Washington elite. For him, and many members of Congress, it's just too bad that nurses, DoD maintainers, shipyard workers, and cops have to get screwed by the furlough....but our masters who won't be taking the pay cuts are the "elite", dontchaknow.
I remember back in 2011, there was a Democrat Representative who said she would not take a pay cut during a government shutdown because she needed her paycheck. Welcome to the club Congresswoman!
On the House side, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., told MSNBC she can't afford it. "I have to tell you that I live paycheck to paycheck, like most Americans," she said, explaining that she has student loans, a 2-year-old son and residences on both coasts. "It's very difficult for me to say, 'Hey, I can give up my paycheck,' because the reality is, I have financial obligations that I have to meet on a month-to-month basis that doesn't make it possible for me. "Now if you're a member of Congress who is a millionaire, and there are quite a few members of the House and Senate that are, it's really not a problem for them," she added.
“Live paycheck to paycheck” and “residences on both coasts” somehow just don’t evoke my sympathies. F’em.
IIRC, The last time there was a furlough, they were all given their back pay. So it’s nothing more than a paid vacation....
That’s exactly what will happen this time too.
I call fabricated BS they still get a 95% increase in money,all the sequester did was cut 5% out of the increase in spending that they were going to recieve.At least thats my understanding,,am I wrong?
That’s why the unions are so quiet. They made it happen the last time.
So sad. I think I’m going to cry. Not.
Mark Beg-ich is up for reelection, I’m surprised he didn’t sacrifice some of his staff, he has one of the largest around.
When he was the mayor of Anchorage taxes went thru the roof, and the cost of govt doubled in less than 8 years.
He sold out to the unions to get elected and they are already paying for ads to keep him in DC.
Can’t wait to vote anybody but little Markie....
LOL. What a Democrat.
My friend’s an attorney dealing with Cook County and City of Chicago employees, along with a few State of IL employees. He says that no matter what department, job, educational attainment or salary level (the lowest he’s dealt with was in the mid-thirties and the highest over $140K) they all have one thing in common:
They’re one paycheck away from default.
Every single one of them has near zero savings, massive credit card debt, maxed out mortgage and car payments. They all live beyond their means.
It’s the Democratic Way!
Election Day will be too late. You better work on his defeat and support the solution starting now.
With the President’s ‘budget’ DOA, Congress should be getting ready for Sequester 2.
With the President’s ‘budget’ DOA, Congress should be readying itself for Sequester 2.
Can I get a vote on which ones should stay home?
I don’t care whether they get paid or not.....
Defense is the one department taking real cuts.
The DoD, via the 2011 Budget Control Act, must "pay" for 50% of all Sequester cuts, despite it being 18% of the budget. All mandatory spending (Entitlements), are exempt. That means Food Stamps, TANF welfare, Social Security Disability - they feel zero reductions because there are none for them. Those programs, however, are 63% of all spending and are exploding.
For the military, the 9% cut is actually a 13% cut for FY13 spending, because they delayed Sequestration's implementation. Compounding the problem for the military is that military pay is exempt, as are most procurement dollars this far into the fiscal year. That means Operations and Maintenance is being eviscerated.
The military was given some O&M money when the Continuing Resolution passed, but it was less than 1/4 of what Congress just took from them with the Sequester.
The Air Force is standing down combat wings, the Navy is down 60% in O&M funds, and the Army has only 20% of O&M funds left for the year.
This is a disaster to the US military.
Every time it is a sham. If it were real we would have a permanent reduction in Federal employees.
That has NOT HAPPENED IN THE LAST 7 YEARS!/
Enough BULLSHIT* already!
I sure hope Sequester 2 has healthier teeth than the toothless Sequester 1.
Can someone explain how a reduction of 3% IN THE PROJECTED INCREASES OF HUSSEIN'S AND HIS fLYING MONKEYS' PROPOSED BUDGET has resulted in double digit reductions in critical Federal Programs but actual INCREASES in the most monumentally wasteful and useless existing programs?
I don't like that "winning the future" CRAP.
What would it take to NOT have any "exemptions" in Sequester 2?
We need lots of wooden stakes to kill the egregious vampire stealing ever-increasing working taxpayer-provided freebies for the indolent "progressive" electorate.
If you don't make a net positive real contribution, you are entitled to ZERO benefits at the expense of the productive.
- "A huge blow to military funding was dealt by the Budget Control Act, the result of the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations. These negotiations cut $1 trillion from discretionary spending over a decade, nearly $500 billion of which came from the military. The military is still addressing this financial loss, with most of the cuts still ahead."
- "Those who support sequestration emphasize that the amount being cut is only about 2.4 percent of the federal budget. That is only part of the story. So much of the budget has been protected from cuts that the military must absorb a cut of about 9 percent and they must do it in six months"
Source: Heratige Foundation
Source: House Armed Services Committtee