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Bridget Johnson


July 8, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Democrats and Republicans decried the beginning of sequestration-induced Pentagon furloughs for civilian employees by blaming each side for not stepping in and preventing the cuts.

The 11 days of unpaid leave amount to a 20 percent pay cut over the next three months for hundreds of thousands of workers across the Defense Department.

Some of the furloughed employees organized a 5-mile “Run for Freedom” from the Pentagon to the Capitol on Monday evening.

“I am disappointed that today hundreds of thousands of federal employees, many of them vital to our national security, will be furloughed under sequestration. Even more disappointing is that these furloughs were wholly preventable,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.).

“The House has voted, repeatedly, to reverse sequestration. For two years now, we have toiled to prevent and then stop these cuts,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, the buck stops at the president’s desk. Without his leadership, the House, Senate, and White House are at an impossible impasse.”

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) noted the furloughs happened “while Republicans work on their debt limit ransom note.”

“Republicans refuse to join Democrats in a budget conference and work with us to replace all of sequestration in a responsible and fair way,” Murray said. “The people I talk to in Washington state and the vast majority of families across the country agree that sequestration is a terrible way to cut spending, and there is no reason for Republicans to try to push us to the next manufactured crisis before we get to work on a balanced replacement.”

McKeon said “this crisis stops when the president decides for it to stop.”

“When and if he does, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work to find a solution,” he said.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Every time I hear "Sequester cut spending," I have to suppress the urge to choke the speaker. We haven't cut spending, at all. All it did was slightly diminish the expansion of government spending. The action is akin to trying to bail out a sinking boat with a butterfly net. What is worse is that they are doing their best to make this small paper cut of responsibility seem like an amputation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We can furlough workers at the Pentagon and cut back on "Independence Day" celebrations at military bases, all the while Obama and the big government dumocrats and RINOs are giving billions to African countries to develop soccer ball generators and to true the vote there (but not here) and to Pakistan and Egypt and the Palestinians and Islamic fighters in Libya and Syria. Glad to see that Obama's priorities have nothing to do with the citizens of this country. I guess he is trying to buy votes so he can be the next Secretary General of the UN.
1 year ago
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