Nuclear weapons arm of DOE warns of furloughs

Congress does not appear near a deal to offset the $85 billion of cuts, known as sequestration.

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That means that while NNSA has worked on “cost cutting measures across the enterprise,” Miller said it would still likely need to implement the furloughs.

“Be assured that to the extent possible I intend to minimize the impacts that budget cuts of the magnitude expected will have on our activities and employees. I will keep you apprised of the situation as we go forward,” Miller said.

NNSA is responsible for safeguarding the nation's nuclear weapons and takes the federal lead for preventing nuclear weapons proliferation. With a requested fiscal 2013 budget of $11.5 billion, it accounts for the largest slice of DOE's requested $27.2 billion budget.

NNSA said it did not have a solid estimate for the number of furloughs, noting decisions made by contractor companies would influence that figure.

Employees would receive a 30-day notice of furloughs, giving Congress a little more time to avoid some of the sequester’s more devastating effects.

DOE had already warned employees of possible furloughs. The Interior Department did the same earlier this week.

Republicans disagree with Democrats and President Obama on the solution for averting the cuts.

The GOP wants to rely entirely on spending cuts, while Democrats and the White House prefer using a mix of reductions and tax increases to replace the sequester.

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