The sequester doesn’t appear to have hit the West Wing of the White House particularly hard.
Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters — after more than a month of dodging questions on White House effects — that 480 employees of the White House Office of Management and Budget have received furlough notices. Even that tidbit is weeks old.
After Congress let the March 1 deadline pass without replacing automatic across-the-board spending cuts, executive branch agencies have been scrambling to cut their budgets and furlough employees.
But the president’s closest advisers have been largely spared, outside some small money saving initiatives. For example, the White House has curtailed such items as employee travel, use of computer air cards and purchases of equipment. The White House is also re-evaluating contracts, Carney said. He noted that some positions have gone unfilled and additional employees could see furloughs or pay cuts as the sequester continues.
“Everybody at the White House and the broader [Executive Office of the President] is dealing with the consequences both — in — it’s in many cases in their own personal lives, but in, you know, how we work here at the White House, which is true across the federal government because of the impact of the sequester,” Carney said.
But he wasn’t able to detail any pay cuts or furloughs that have actually hit the West Wing yet.
“I don’t have any other furlough notices to announce to you,” Carney said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.