The president is diminishing America’s defense readiness by furloughing thousands of civilian contractors in violation of an act he only signed into law Monday.
U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., confirmed that about 2,000 civilian defense contractors were released from Offutt Air Force Base in violation of the Pay Our Military Act, according to Breitbart News.
U.S. Strategic Command, headquartered at Offutt, “integrates and coordinates the necessary command and control capability to provide support with the most accurate and timely information for the President, the Secretary of Defense, other National Leadership and regional combatant commanders,” Terry told Breitbart News.
The Pay Our Military Act makes available “such sums as are necessary to provide pay and allowances to the civilian personnel of the Department of Defense (and the Department of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard) whom the Secretary concerned determines are providing support to members of the Armed Forces,” Terry continued.
In an exclusive interview, Terry told Breitbart News:
I’m very upset with the White House decision to force furloughs, which I think are illegal furloughs because the law he signed last Saturday. This is a political game that they’re playing, endangering this country. They’ve had to lay off over 60 percent of their civilian employees, who are all basically retired military who just keep the same jobs and become civilians. These are integral people to protecting our nuclear arsenal and to our military readiness. This is a dangerous game this president is playing.
This dangerous game has some potentially deadly consequences, a representative from Terry’s office told Breitbart News.
“Airplane mechanics are being furloughed,” the unnamed representative said. “How is that not critical to getting an airplane off the ground if we need to? This is an illegal furlough. The president is completely breaking the law. Congress passed it unanimously, he signed it into law, and now he’s breaking that very law.”
Terry isn’t the only one concerned. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., took to the House floor Thursday with a speech condemning the president’s actions.
“While President Obama is following part of the law by not furloughing men and women in uniform, he ignores the part of the law that eliminates furloughs for Department of Defense civilian personnel and requires continued payment of defense contractors who provide ‘support to members of the Armed Services,’” Brooks said in a YouTube video of his remarks
U.S. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, denounced the decision to furlough civilian workers at Hill Air Force Base, which is in his district, and he’s pushing for the Pay Our Military Act to be followed to its letter, according to KUTV.com.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., blamed it all on politics.
“President Obama is jeopardizing our national security just to play politics on this shutdown,” she told Breitbart News.
Watch the video of Rep. Brooks’ floor speech. Please note, if the audio is off, you may re-set it manually by sliding it up using the control in the lower left.