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Bill would prevent furloughs

As furloughs of federal employees begin to threaten lawmakers' home districts, one Texas House member has introduced a bill that would take those furloughs off the table as a cost-cutting measure.


As furloughs of federal employees begin to threaten lawmakers' home districts, one Texas House member has introduced a bill that would take those furloughs off the table as a cost-cutting measure.

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R), who chairs the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, is sponsoring the Protecting America’s Civilian Employees Act, which according to a press statement from his office would require the Office of Management and Budget report to Congress on "how to most efficiently transfer funds within agencies and departments for fiscal year 2013 to avoid all furloughs or reductions in America’s federal workforce."

In addition to calling for a plan to prevent furloughs, Farenthold also laid the blame for the workforce cutbacks on the president and the Democratic-led Senate.

“Our federal workforce needs to be operating at 100 percent, " Farenthold said in a statement. "They should not be punished because the president, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats failed to do their jobs and replace the sequester."

The congressman's district includes the Corpus Christi Army Depot and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, where civilian employees could furloughed for up to 22 days. Farenthold also noted that local airport towers in Corpus Christi and Victoria could face "extreme cuts."

“Those reductions in force are unacceptable," he stated. "CCAD saves taxpayers millions, NASCC is a primary training site for naval pilots, and our airport tower operators are essential for safe travel and NASCC’s training mission.

"We should be able to achieve the needed savings and keep our dedicated federal workforce going strong, without devastating furloughs and that’s what my bill intends to do,” he said.

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