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Congressman Bishop Says Hill Furloughs Avoidable

U.S. Air Force

  Many civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base are facing another day without pay this week, while Congressman Rob Bishop argues the Defense Department could have avoided the furloughs under the federal sequester.

The Ogden Air Logistics Complex – by far the largest unit at Hill – gets most of its support from the Defense Working Capital Fund, which was not subject to the sequester.  But he says the Obama administration made a political decision to spread the cuts out over a large group of civilian workers.

“They had made the decision that every element will have to take part in the sequestration reductions," Bishop told KUER.  "I understand that.  I’m just arguing that they could have made the decision not to do it and there would be funds to make sure that did not happen.”

Bishop and 30 other members of the House sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking him to explain the policy.

The House budget proposal for next year includes funding that would bring defense spending back to pre-sequester levels.  That money is not in the Senate proposal.  Resolving the two may not happen before the federal fiscal year begins October 1st.

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