Rep. Paul Cook Issues Statement on Department of Defense Furloughs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2013
WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) today issued the following statement on the start of Department of Defense furloughs.
“So long as our country has troops in harm’s way, it's unacceptable to put such severe budget restrictions on the Department of Defense. The civilian employees of the DoD play an integral role in our national security. Restricting their ability to do their jobs poses a serious threat to our nation’s defense and mission readiness. We can save money in other ways like eliminating waste and resisting the urge to expand programs and bases.”
The furloughs, which were forced by sequestration, began today. For most employees, the furloughs will mean one day a week without pay through September. This amounts to a 20 percent pay cut over the next three months. The furloughs affect more than 650,000 civilian DoD employees.
While many other agencies of the federal government were able to avoid furloughing employees, the DoD was unable to do the same because of the way the sequestration is structured. The Heritage Institute found that the sequestration fell “most heavily on defense with over 50% of the cuts impacting national security.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook is a former educator who served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat.