Only a handful of legislative days remain to resolve the devastating cuts to our military, known as sequestration, before the campaign trail becomes the sole focus of political activity.
The false notion persists that the deadline is Jan. 2, when the Office of Management and Budget is charged with making arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to every part of the military. But federal law requires that companies give their employees at least 60 days’ warning when it is “reasonably foreseeable” that cuts could lead to layoffs. The required notification for cuts to the federal workforce is as much as 105 days, and similar standards apply to troops who will be involuntarily separated. That means, barring any guidance from the White House or the resolution of sequestration, hundreds of thousands of Americans, including those fighting our wars, should find pink slips in their mailboxes only a few weeks before Election Day.
The consequences of all this have been well reported. Sequestration was meant to be the “poison pill” that would guarantee that all parties came to the negotiating table. Obviously, it didn’t work. I am among those who voted for the Budget Control Act and, given its unintended consequences, I am obligated to resolve the crisis it has created.