Obama administration official: Sequestration may cause unpaid furloughs

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The Obama administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) controller Danny Werfel sent an email to federal labor leaders Thursday preparing unions for the possibility of unpaid “furloughs or other actions” related to sequestration, according to the Washington Post.

“Sequestration was never intended to be implemented, and there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together and prevent this scenario,” Werfel wrote.

“Nevertheless, with only a couple of weeks left before sequestration could occur should a deal not be reached, it is important to clarify the potential implications. … If it occurs, sequestration will reduce our budgetary resources for the remainder of the fiscal year,” Werfel wrote.

The federal government may put workers on furlough, according to Werfel’s emails.

“Should we have to operate under reduced funding levels for an extended period of time, we may have to consider furloughs or other actions in the future,” Werfel wrote.

The administration’s secret preparations for sequestration come less than two months after President Obama promised the American public that it “will not happen.”

“The sequester is not something I proposed, it’s something that Congress has proposed,” Obama declared in an Oct. 23 debate with Mitt Romney. “It will not happen.”

Here’s a video of Obama’s Oct. 23 declaration (1:00 mark):


Correction: An earlier version stated that the OMB warned of possible layoffs when it actually warned of unpaid “furloughs or other actions.”

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