Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, delivered the following speech on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the furloughing of the Defense Department civilian workforce:
Mr. Speaker, last week more than 650,000 DoD civilians began the first of their 11 unpaid furlough days. Our military, our men and woman in uniform, and the civilians who support our national security infrastructure simply cannot and should not have to bear this burden.
Now, men and women across the country - the engineers, architects, welders, and manufacturers who have devoted their lives to our national security - find themselves losing pay and struggling to get by.
Although the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force have said they may be able to complete the fiscal year without furloughs, the Secretary of Defense would not allow the service secretaries to make their own decisions based on their individual budgetary constraints. The entire Department is now suffering as a result.
Mr. Speaker, this body has acted multiple times to end this process. I urge the Senate and the President to offer their real solutions to this problem so that we can relieve this costly burden on our defense civilian workforce. These men and women who devote their lives to this countryâ€™s service deserve better from their Government.