Legislation Would Cut Federal Workforce to Avoid Defense Cuts

By on December 14, 2011 in Current Events with 55 Comments

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) has introduced legislation that would cut the federal workforce by 10% to pay for mandated sequestration cuts in FY 2013.

Dubbed the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act, the legislation would impose a 10% reduction in the federal workforce through attrition and then apply the savings to pay for one year of sequestration for both defense and non-defense categories. A 10% reduction will be achieved over 10 years by only hiring one federal employee for every three who retire.

According to McKeon, this would generate $127 billion. From this, $55 billion could pay for the first year of defense cuts under sequestration. Another $55 billion could cover the non-defense cuts required, and the remaining $17 billion would be available for deficit reduction.

The failure of the super committee to find $1.2 trillion in savings triggered automatic cuts that will cut military funding by $500 billion. McKeon wants to stop this with his proposed legislation.

McKeon’s bill only addresses the first year of sequestration, which begins in January 2013. It leaves the overall sequestration caps in place.

In a statement about the proposed legislation, McKeon said, “The troops simply don’t have any more to give. It is time we address our debt crisis sensibly, by literally shrinking the size of government.  At the same time, we will meet our commitment to saving $1.2 trillion over ten years.  That should be enough to persuade the Commander in Chief to put politics aside and protect our troops.”

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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