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Sequester Furloughs Far More Limited than Projected

Sequester Furloughs Far More Limited than Projected

When Forced to Trim Spending, Agencies Have Prioritized

(Washington, D.C.) – A new report finds that despite dire warnings about the impact of the spending cut brought on by the sequester, most agencies have resorted to far fewer worker furloughs than was initially predicted. Before signing the order to implement sequestration, President Obama said "hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country – Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work at the Pentagon – all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs." According to a review by GovExec.com, these warnings were exaggerated.

The Departments of Education and Justice told Congress they would have to furlough workers, but did not. The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation and Homeland Security projected furloughs, but ended up canceling them. The Pentagon originally planned to furlough all 750,000 civilian employees for 22 days, but eventually reduced the number of unpaid days to six. Numerous other agencies have used furloughs far less than was announced. In reviewing budgets, government managers have generally found other ways to reduce spending with only small reductions to hours worked.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

"The President's dire warnings turned out to be nothing more than a scare tactic aimed at getting Congress to cancel the sequester spending reductions, and instead pushing to raise taxes. We don't need more taxation – especially with the smaller paychecks that American workers saw at the beginning on the year as a result of increased payroll taxes.

During his campaign, President Obama promised to go through the federal budget 'line by line' to eliminate waste. Instead, our debt has exploded. The sequester put in place a very small spending reduction – just 3 percent – but it has led agencies to review their budgets and find ways to spend less on lower priorities. That's precisely what Congress and the President should be doing every year – finding ways to eliminate wasteful government spending. They owe it to the taxpayers to restrain the growth of government so the private sector can grow."

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309.