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Roby Writes Letter to Obama About Defense Furloughs

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery wrote President Obama urging the President to enforce a law recently enacted to protect the jobs of key civilian military personnel during the government shutdown.

On Thursday there were reports that hundreds of civilian workers in Troy at Alabama’s Sikorsky helicopter facility could possibly be laid off. This was despite the passage of H.R. 3210, the Pay Our Military Act, which funds the military during this partial government shutdown.

Representative Roby said, “Of course, nobody wanted a government shutdown,” Rep. Roby said. “But, when the reality of a shutdown became apparent, we passed and the President signed into law legislation ensuring our military personnel would not be negatively affected. Part of that legislation aimed to make sure the work of needed civilian employees wasn’t interrupted as well.”

Congresswoman Roby continued, “I would be shocked if the Secretary of Defense really believes the inspectors charged with ensuring our Seahawk helicopter coming off the line are safe and up to specification are not ‘providing support to members of the Armed Forces.’ That’s why today I wrote President Obama urging him to see this law properly carried out so that workers will can remain on the job in Troy.”

Rep. Roby said, “It was our original intent to authorize funding for civilian military personnel in the ‘Pay our Military Act.’ However, I support bringing forward additional legislation if necessary that would end any civilian military furloughs initiated by the shutdown once and for all. There is plenty the two sides don’t agree on in Congress. But, we should all agree that those who work in support of our military should be able to get back to work.”

On Sunday, United Technologies announced that it was canceling the 4,000 furloughs at Sikorsky after Sec. Of Defense Chuck Hagel (R) announced that he was recalling 90% of the furloughed civilian defense department employees, including the inspectors who inspect the work done at production lines including those at Silorsky, at Untied Technologies subsidiary.

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The government shutdown continues into a second week and both sides appear to be entrenched in their positions. On October 17 Congress needs to pass a debt ceiling increase or the shutdown could get substantially larger.

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

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