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Senators seeks to head off DOD workforce cuts

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and seven other Democratic lawmakers introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would strike language requiring the Defense Department to cut the civilian and contract workforce by at least 5 percent.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and seven other Democratic lawmakers introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would strike language requiring the Defense Department to cut the civilian and contract workforce by at least 5 percent.

According to a Nov. 28 statement from Cardin's office, the amendment would prevent DOD from “arbitrarily” cutting 36,000 civilian jobs and thousands of contractor jobs through fiscal 2017, in addition to already planned workforce cuts.

The amendment calls for removing language inserted into the bill earlier by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), which the press statement said called for “draconian” workforce cuts—cuts that Cardin said are inconsistent with the law.

“A slash and burn approach to downsizing the civilian and contractor workforce is contrary to current law and runs the risk of undermining our military mission and national security,” Cardin said. “The DoD has already announced plans to downsize its civilian and contractor workforce, but it is being done in accordance with law and with consideration to mission and workload and mission. Automatic cuts to the civilian and contactor workforce is unlawful, ill-advised and could leave our nation vulnerable.”

The amendment was co-sponsored by Maryland’s other senator Barbara Mikulski (D), as well as six other Democratic senators from across the country.

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