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Senator Blunt: Obama Administration Should Not Furlough “Essential” Employees

March 05, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke at the Republican Leadership Stakeout today about legislation that he plans to introduce to allow the Obama Administration to apply the same standards to furloughs that they apply to “essential” federal employees who are required to work during occurrences of inclement weather or other government shutdowns.

In recent weeks, the president, his cabinet officials, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have warned that sequestration could have a dire impact on the nation’s economy and public safety due to forced furloughs of federal employees who perform essential duties, such as food inspectors. Many of the claims have been deemed inaccurate or misleading by news organizations.

Last week, Blunt sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to use his authority to minimize the economic impact of sequestration as it relates to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The letter comes on the heels of recent comments by the USDA that sequestration would result in an across-the-board furlough of as much as 15 days for all FSIS employees, including inspectors.

In his response, Vilsack claimed: “When Congress drafted the Budget Control Act of 2011 directing Federal agencies to reduce their spending at specified levels, it included no exemption for essential employees such as FSIS inspectors.” Blunt’s proposed legislation would address Secretary Vilsack’s concerns by creating such an exemption.

CLICK HERE To Watch Senator Blunt’s Remarks

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