By Ramsey Cox
Shaheen sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday, asking him to do everything he could to avoid unpaid furloughs for federal employees.
“As Congress works toward an agreement, it is imperative that we take every possible step to mitigate the impact of sequestration on federal employees, including with respect to the possibility of furloughs,” Shaheen wrote.
In the letter, Shaheen said that if the furloughs are unavoidable, DOD could work with states to see if employees could collect unemployment insurance during the furlough process.
Shaheen also said she would continue to work toward an agreement that would replace the $1.2 trillion sequester over 10 years that Congress agreed to in 2011 under the Budget Control Act.
“Sequestration is not a solution to our nation’s fiscal crisis,” the letter stated. “Automatic cuts are the least responsible way to address our debt. The best way to avoid sequestration is a thoughtful, long-term deficit reduction plan. This will require reforms to all areas of spending, including domestic, mandatory, and defense, as well as revenues through comprehensive tax reform.”