Washington D.C. – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo is warning that the next round of across-the-board sequestration cuts may result in layoffs of civilian workers employed at Guam’s military bases.
Bordallo was reacting to a letter from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Armed Services Chair Carl Levin that $52-billion in planned new FY ’14 budget cuts will mean possible civilian layoffs, not just furloughs.
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BORDALLO: “As far as a second round, Guam is already feeling. We have furloughed many hundreds of civilian employees in Guam, as well as everybody else that has had to do this. So, I say to solve all these furloughs, we’ve just got to end sequestration, as a whole–period.”
Easier said than done, since House Republicans refuse to negotiate a budget deal with Senate Democrats that would replace the 2011 Budget Control Act that mandates the annual deficit-reducing cuts. And Bordallo, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, fears that means more trouble ahead for the military build-up.
BORDALLO: “I’m sure. We’ve already been cut quite a bit. Of course, the ‘footprint’ is smaller. Now, 5-thousand Marines coming in from Okinawa, with their families. And some of them, on a rotational basis. so, we’ve seen that.”
Bordallo won most of the build-up spending relief she sought in the pending FY ’14 Pentagon budget bill, though not in the Senate version, and adds, of Sequestration and the build-up:
BORDALLO: “If this continues into a separate round, I don’t know what’s going to happen to it.”
And, as Bordallo anticipates the military’s future on Guam, she continues to mark its past involvement.
BORDALLO: “The 69th anniversary, which, the laying of the wreath was held at Arlington, was certainly spectacular. And of course, we’re going to have to think of ways to make it more impressive, if that’s possible, for our 70th anniversary, which will be a milestone.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welch and CNMI Congressman Greg ‘Kilili’ Sablan, joined Bordallo in laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier this year.
Also attending, First Lady Christine Calvo and 68th Guam Liberation Queen Elesiah Malaga. An annual reception sponsored by the Guam Society of America was set Tuesday.