As Pentagon Furloughs Start, Congress Yawns

Posted July 8, 2013 at 12:33pm

David Hawkings: “One of the most consequential effects of the sequester began today: Weekly unpaid furlough days for more than 650,000 civilian workers at the Defense Department, who will effectively see their pay cut by 20 percent for the  final 11 weeks of this budget year.”

“All the commissaries at domestic military installations are closed, for example, and will be every Monday through the end of September. (Most agencies within the department have decided to salve the economic sting a tiny bit by setting the furloughs on Mondays and Fridays, so that workers might at least enjoy a series of long weekends.)”

“But the visuals of closed cafeterias, equipment maintenance sheds, supply warehouses, payroll offices and the like will have absolutely no effect on the pace of congressional effort toward untangling the budget morass.”

“Whatever work is taking place on that score is totally out of view. And none of the congressional leadership is suggesting this will change before Congress returns from its August recess a full week after Labor Day, when there will be 23 days left before this fiscal year gives way to the next.”