Obama On Defense Sequester: GOP Trying To ‘Wriggle Out Of What They Agreed To’
Obama administration tries to block sequester layoff notices
The latest durable-goods orders report must have the Obama administration — and the Obama campaign — more worried than they publicly let on. According to the National Journal, the White House will press government contractors to hold off on issuing layoff notices in October in anticipation of the sequestration cuts, afraid of the political backlash that will ensue. In fact, the Obama administration is offering to indemnify government contractors for losses and fines for delaying those notices:
The White House moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, even going so far to say that the contracting agencies would cover any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow.
Some defense companies—including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and EADS North America—have said they expect to send notices to their employees 60 days before sequestration takes effect to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies to give advance warning to workers deemed reasonably likely to lose their jobs. Companies appeared undeterred by a July 30 guidance from the Labor Department, which said issuing such notices would be inappropriate, due to the possibility that sequestration may be averted. The Labor Department also said companies do not have enough information about how the cuts might be implemented to determine which workers or specific programs could be affected should Congress fail to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half from defense, half non-defense. For 2013, that would amount to $109 billion in spending cuts.