|HR1014 to protect Military Technicians from the Sequester|
Support HR1014 to Save Military Techs From Sequester Furlough
While all military components are scrambling to absorb $47 billion in cuts throughout the Department of Defense (DoD), including the furloughs of 800,000 military civilians, there is one group that justifies an exemption: National Guard Military Technicians.
The Pentagon exempted uniformed personnel from sequestration to limit the impact of ongoing budget debates on military readiness but did not include the approximately 53,000 National Guard military technicians, who wear a military uniform. These techs are vital to National Guard readiness, yet they will be the only people wearing military uniforms who will be subject to furloughs. As such, Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) introduced H.R. 1014, to protect National Guard military technicians from sequestration furloughs. The bill would amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to provide that military technicians (dual status) shall be included in military personnel accounts for purposes of any order issued under that Act. As such, any order of the President to exempt military personnel accounts from sequestration shall apply to military technicians.
These uniquely hybrid positions have been developed over decades as the most cost-efficient and stable maintenance work-force in the DoD. Even their title – Military Technicians – makes them distinct from other DoD civilians. Their predecessors were known as Civilian Technicians, and it was Congress that decided they were more military than civilian, authorized them to wear their uniforms to work every day, and awarded them that title, along with expectations of fulfilling roles and responsibilities beyond that of their former duties.
The President, Congress, and the DoD all agreed to exempt uniformed personnel from the sequester to limit the impact on military readiness. We believe the furloughs of National Guard Military Technicians violate that intent. Allowing half of the National Guard’s full-time members to be furloughed will result in an immediate reduction in the National Guard’s operations readiness across all state and federal missions.
US Representative Steven Palazzo (MS-04), the only concurrently serving enlisted member of the National Guard in Congress introduced H.R. 1014, a bill that would exempt Military Technicians from sequestration by including them in military personnel accounts. After introducing his legislation Representative Palazzo issued the following statement, "Our nation’s military technicians are vital in maintaining our military readiness at home and abroad. Under sequestration they are the only uniformed military personnel who could face the threat of being furloughed. While we must continue working to replace the devastating sequester cuts for all affected, this legislation will ensure that our hardworking military technicians are protected from possible furloughs and pay cuts.”
Pennsylvania is leading the way on advocating for this bill and we have the most members of our Congressional Delegation that have co-sponsored HR 1014. Pennsylvania boasts five out of 25 co-sponsors, which isn't too shabby considering the other states have 1, 2, and no sponsors at all. We need to keep the pressure on.
PNGAS strongly encourage the passage and enactment of this vital legislation or other federal legislation to accomplish the same goal. It is critical that the National Guard maintain training/readiness to ensure that the National Guard is ready to answer the call when needed for domestic operations.
Al Garver's ad about HR 1014