Congressman Derek Kilmer

Representing the 6th District of Washington
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Kilmer, Cole Introduce Bipartisan Amendment to Stop Future Furloughs of Civilian Workers at Military Work Sites

May 19, 2014
Press Release
Amendment to House defense bill would prohibit working capital fund employees from furloughs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced an amendment to prevent furloughs for federal Department of Defense employees paid through working capital funds. The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would ensure that thousands of workers across the country would not face unpaid leave days due to furloughs as a result of across-the-board budget cuts.

More than 170,000 Department of Defense civilian employees are paid using working capital funds. Working capital funds do not receive direct funding through the annual appropriations process but by fees collected from customers for goods and services these civilian workers provide.

“Furloughing workers funded through capital funds does not–and cannot—save the government money,” said Kilmer. “Sending these workers home without pay just means needlessly delaying projects that have already been funded. I have continually raised concerns about the legal justification the Department has used when furloughing these workers. That is why I am pleased to work closely with Representative Cole to ensure that we are living up to our commitments to the defense workforce, promoting military readiness, and saving taxpayers’ money.”

“I am pleased to help introduce this bipartisan provision which prohibits the furlough of civilian employees while funds remain in the Defense Working Capital Funds (WCF),” said Cole. “The services provided by WCF employees are already fully funded apart from the appropriations process. In fact, imposing furloughs actually hurts our economic recovery and costs the taxpayers more through delayed production, overhead increases and the need for overtime or transfer of workload to more expensive sources of work. This amendment will prevent that from happening and protect our valuable personnel."

The Representatives’ amendment will be considered by the Rules Committee before it moves to the full House floor as part of the NDAA.

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