Loebsack Statement on Department of Defense Civilian Furlough Announcement Print
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 13:13

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the Department of Defense announced that most of its civilian employees, including Rock Island Arsenal employees, will be furloughed for 11 days due to budget cuts under sequestration and other budgetary factors.  Loebsack has been opposed to these drastic cuts since they were created by the Budget Control Act, which he voted against.  He has repeatedly called on Congressional leaders to work to find a balanced, commonsense way to replace sequestration and responsibly deal with the fiscal situation facing the nation.  He also called on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to avoid furloughs and raised his strong concern about the effect of furloughs on national security and civilian personnel with Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno.

“The men and women working at Rock Island Arsenal stand up for our country and support our troops day after day.  It is unconscionable that they and their families will be forced to take a pay cut because Congress and the Administration can’t work together to replace the arbitrary cuts caused by sequestration.  Forcing middle class families and the Quad Cities economy to pay for Washington’s dysfunction is reprehensible.

“Sequestration is an irresponsible and illogical way to deal with our nation’s fiscal challenges.  I have repeatedly called on Congress to come back to the table and replace sequestration in a commonsense, balanced fashion.  Doing so would address our economic needs while more substantially reducing the deficit over the long-term.

“It makes no sense to me that the only people that are not feeling any pain from sequester are members of Congress themselves. It is time for Congress to step up and pass legislation that I introduced that would reduce Members of Congress’ pay by 10 percent. The last time Congress saw a pay cut was in 1933 – eight decades ago.  Passing this bill would show Congress is serious about restoring fiscal discipline and putting some skin in the game.”

Loebsack has consistently called for Members of Congress to have a personal stake in our nation’s recovery.  In addition to authoring the CHIP IN and Cut Congressional Pay Act, he has previously cosponsored legislation that would tie the eligibility for Members of Congress to draw their pension benefits to their Social Security retirement age.  He has also voted multiple times to cut Congressional office budgets.

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