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McKeon Proposes Fed Workforce Cuts to Avoid Defense Cuts

Rep. Buck McKeon

House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) has introduced a bill he says will protect help avoid defense cuts by sequestration for at least one year.

According to McKeon, the Down Payment To Protect National Security Act is designed to avoid around $55 billion of defense spending cuts in 2013 by scaling back the federal workforce.

The plan would cut federal employment by 10 percent throughout the next 10 years, or hiring one government employee for every three who retire. The money saved by cutting federal employees would then be used to supplement the armed forces budget, McKeon said.

Currently, the Defense Department is facing around $1 trillion in potential cuts over the next 10 years under sequestration. The Pentagon is already set to cut more than $500 million through the same time period as a result of the August debt ceiling agreement.

McKeon argues that if nothing is done, America would be taking major security risks.

“America’s military commanders have warned us that these cuts will cripple our ability to defend the nation,” said McKeon. “After cutting almost $500 billion from defense, we are clearing a lot of waste, fat, and even muscle out of the military.”

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