The Furlough Situation:

Amid news that the Army and Marine Corps are moving to initiate civilian furloughs, Air Force officials have said that the service does not consider a civilian furlough an “imminent issue,” concluding that the “personnel budget is such that it would not become a pressing concern for some months.” Failure of lawmakers to pass a supplemental war on terror funding bill has prompted DOD to officially notify Congress the requisite 45 days in advance before beginning furloughs. Without the supplemental, the services must draw on base-budget operations and maintenance funding to pay for war costs. Many civilians are paid out of O&M accounts. However, lawmakers have responded that furloughs should be last on the list of actions, citing a new Congressional Research Service report that lists other budget alternatives, such as slowing the pace of funds obligation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) declared last week: “Department of Defense workers are not going to be furloughed. That is not going to happen.” According to CRS, the services have enough funding, without resorting to furloughs, to take them through March.