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Orignally published Feb 22 2013

by Karen at 5:05 pm under Legislation,sequestration

Big sequestration-driven budget cuts are scheduled to take effect in seven days. The Department of Defense budget will be hit hard with $46 billion in cuts coming now, in this fiscal year (March- September 2013).

If you are unsure about sequestration and what it all means, you are not alone.

To help you out, MOAA has created a new video that explains it all.

Listen in as Steve Strobridge, Director of Government Relations and Monique Rizer, Deputy Director, Spouse Programs walk you through the twists and turns of sequestration.

Recapping some of the areas of importance to military families:

 

Pay and Allowances: Pay and allowances exempt from sequestration include:  active duty military pay and allowances, drill pay, retiree pay, veterans disability benefits, and survivor benefits.

Civilian Employees: Over 800,000 civilian DoD employees will be furloughed 1 day per week beginning April 25. Limited exceptions include: civilians employees that are deployed and civilians employees who are required to maintain safety of life or property. Employees that are exempt from furloughs include those paid with non-appropriated funds (NAF), Senate-confirmed political appointees and foreign national employees.

Health Care: Because over 40% of the health care work force at Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) are  federal civilian employees,  expect an impact on services. What the impact will be remains to be seen. DoD is awaiting input from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Services Surgeon Generals.

Schools: DoD schools are not exempt. DoD plans to do everything possible to sustain full-year programs and full accreditation.  What that will look like remains to be seen. Input is being sought from installation commanders.

Family Programs: Programs that are staffed by federal civilian employees will be impacted by the furloughs resulting in reduced services.

Child Development Centers: NAF Employees are exempt from furloughs. However, those CDC staff members paid with appropriated funds are not exempt.

Commissaries: It is possible that operating hours of commissaries will be curtailed.

At a recent press conference,  Jessica Wright, Acting Under Secretary of Defense (P&R),  said  “If sequestration is not averted, the associated furloughs will impact our warfighters, our veterans, and our family members in untold ways.”

These impending cuts will hit all of us.  Congress hasn’t taken any action to avert sequestration. Will you?

Time is running out!  Add your voice to ours and take action on this critical issue today.

Karen serves as a Deputy Director, Government Relations (Military Family Issues)

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