(David Perera – Fierce Homeland Security)
The Coast Guard would curtail air and surface operations by nearly 25 percent and a significant portion of frontline Homeland Security Department personnel would be furloughed for up to 14 days should sequestration begin on March 1, says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Across-the-board cuts could also potentially result in reductions in force, Napolitano said, using the government term for layoffs.
In a Feb. 13 letter sent in response to a request from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Napolitano said the overall effect of across-the-board spending cuts would be to increase national risk.
Sequestration, originally set to take effect in January following the November 2011 failure of a joint congressional committee to settle on a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction plan, is now set to exact automatic cuts of $85 billion equally divided between defense and non-defense spending starting in March.
Many in Congress have said sequestration is inevitable; speaking with Capitol Hill reporters Feb. 12, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it seems “pretty clear to me that sequester is going to go into effect,” adding that there is “no evidence that the House plans to act on this matter before the end of the month.” Read more here.
Date: February 14, 2013