Republicans target civilian DOD personnel

Six House Republicans have proposed legislation that would cut the civilian defense workforce by 15 percent in six years.

The bill from Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) is aimed at stopping the Department of Defense's planned cuts to military personnel, and redirecting those cuts to a civilian workforce that Calvert says has grown too quickly.

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"The growth of the civilian workforce within the DOD continues to create a significant budgetary burden but, more importantly, if left unchecked, it will negatively impact our men and women in uniform," Calvert said when he proposed the bill late last week.

"Secretary [Chuck] Hagel's recently announced military reduction plan trims the wrong side of the DOD," he added. "It would negatively impact our troops, compromise our national security, while failing to make the tough but necessary decisions needed to trim the civilian workforce at the DOD."

Calvert said the number of people on active military duty grew by 3.4 percent from 2001 to 2012. But the civilian workforce has grown 18 percent since 2009, and the Joint Staff has grown 230 percent between 2010 and 2012.

Calvert's bill would require a 15 percent cut to the civilian workforce by 2020, and the workforce would not be able to grow from that level until after 2025. He said the idea of the bill would be to use the savings from these cuts to boost active-duty personnel.

"The savings generated from H.R. 4257 should stay within the Department and be redirected to fund Service priorities such as modernizing weapons systems, readiness, resetting the force and, most importantly, providing for our fighting men and women in uniform," he said.

As of late last week, the bill was sponsored by Reps. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Todd Rokita (R-Ind.). 

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