Federal Workers Question Congressman Over Sequester

Apr 1, 2013

Several federal employees questioned 5th Distrcit U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) on pay cuts they’re forced to take as part of sequestration during a town hall recorded last month by KGOU.

Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) delivers remarks at the weekly House Republican Leadership Press Conference.
Credit House Republican Conference

Delo Anderson wanted to know why Congress isn’t letting the Dept. of Defense make strategic decisions on how to implement mandatory budget cuts, forcing 800,000 defense workers to take 22 furlough days.

“I met with Leon Panetta last summer to ask about sequestration,” Lankford said. “His response was we are not going to plan for it; it’s not going to happen.”

The Congressman said the House passed a full-year appropriations bill a month ago to help with the situation, but delays in the Senate continued the problem.

A man identifying himself as federal law enforcement officer told Lankford his pay is being cut even more because of sequestration. Wade Plant said the forced budget reductions include an elimination of overtime and other “premium” pay.

“On top of that 25 percent altogether for being furloughed, it equates to about 35-45 percent of my pay,” said Wade Plant. “As a federal employee that’s a large dock on our pay.”