SecAF Nomination Held Up
Senator Kelly Ayotte , R-NH, has placed a hold on Air Force Secretary nominee Deborah James, expressing concern over unofficial news the Air Force may be looking to cut the fleet in the FY15 budget.
Ayotte's husband flew the A-10 in Iraq with the Air National Guard, and has said the hold will stand until she gets answers about Air Force planning for the A-10, and what would replace it.
DoD employees who are considered vital to national security, public safety, health and welfare would still be called to work — about 1.3 million civilian employees and 1.4 million in the military.
If a shutdown lasts less than two weeks, these folks will still receive their paychecks on time. If it lasts longer, they will continue to work, but will not receive their pay until Congress acts. Furloughed civilians will not necessarily receive back pay for their missed days, as again, Congress would have to agree to do so. Let's remember almost half of the federal workforce has already been forced to take several furlough days this year due to sequestration, and federal employees are also in the third year of a pay freeze.
TDYs not directly in support of essential activities will be cancelled, and PCSs underway will be completed. Education and training will be limited. On bases, TRICARE, inpatient, acute and ER care will continue in medical/dental facilities, but all other services could be limited or closed.Military retiree and survivors benefits are not dependent on regular appropriations, so monthly checks are not affected by a government shutdown. VA Healthcare and other services will also not be affected.
Make Cuts Smartly…
A new report out from the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank, recommends how DoD should cut the $50 billion per year required by current law. Their recommendations fall into three broad categories:
- $22.4 billion in management reforms, (including reforming military retirement and health benefits.)
- $21.4 billion in changes to force structure.
- $5.7 billion in reduced modernization costs.