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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Bishop Calls on Sec Def Hagel to Cancel Any Furlough Plans for Civilian Defense Workers, National Guard, and Reservists

October 2, 2013
Press Release
WASHINGTON– Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, is working with House colleagues to ensure that civilian defense employees are deemed "essential" during the government shutdown. Bishop signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel requesting that he take into consideration the important role that civilian defense workers, the National Guard, and reservists have in ensuring our nation's readiness capabilities. The letter echoes a similar request to Secretary Hagel made by Buck McKeon, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Pay Our Military Act [H.R. 3210], which was initiated by the House and signed into law Monday, September 30th, requires the Secretary of Defense to pay active duty military personnel. The law also gives the Secretary of Defense broad discretion regarding the pay of civilian defense workers, giving him the authority to keep civilian defense employees working should he choose to do so. 

"It is shameful that this Administration is even considering burdening civilian defense workers with more furloughs when they were already forced into six days without pay this past summer. It's fair to say they have paid more than their fair share for the federal government's irresponsible spending practices.  The Administration needs to keep their hands off the pay of these hard workers who are all essential to supporting the warfighter and the common defense of our country, which is a primary function of the Federal Government under the Constitution.  I join with many of my colleagues in urging the Administration and Secretary of Defense to keep civilian defense workers, the National Guard, and reservists working in defense of our country," said Bishop.

The letter signed by Bishop requests that Secretary Hagel take into account the importance of civilian defense workers with regards to national defense and to use his power to not furlough their jobs and to continue their pay.

"In July, the House passed a Defense appropriations bill for the coming year by a large bipartisan majority of 315 in favor to 109 against.  The Senate has failed to act on this appropriations bill even though they have had months to do so.  I urge the Democratic Senate leadership to move to act on this essential defense funding bill as well as other appropriations bills that have passed the House with bipartisan support to restore some order to the way we fund essential aspects of government. Senator Reid has been around long enough to realize that some of the biggest challenges we face today are the direct result of his lousy leadership," Bishop added.