House Takes Step to Ending Mil Tech Furloughs

NGAUS Washington Report

(July 30, 2013) NGAUS believes an amendment to the fiscal 2014 National Defense Appropriations Act, H.R. 2397, is an important first step to ending the current furlough of National Guard dual-status military technicians and preventing their recurrence in the future.

The amendment—submitted by Rep. Richard Nugent, R-Fla., Rep. Steven Palazzo, D-Miss., and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.—would prevent any funds in the defense appropriations bill from being used to implement or carry out a furlough for dual-status military technicians.

It passed July 24.

The amendment is similar to a bill Palazzo, a member of the Mississippi Army Guard, introduced in March.

"This amendment is a big first step to correcting an oversight that hurts nearly 50,000 dedicated uniformed soldiers and airmen and erodes the National Guard's ability to respond both at home and abroad," said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president.

Furloughs began the week of July 8. Those affected receive one day a week off without pay (a cut of 20 percent of their income) through the end of September. Mil techs are the only uniformed members of the U.S. military subject to furloughs.

The amendment still needs to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president to have any impact.

But the whole issue may soon be moot for this fiscal year if an Associated Press story today comes to fruition. The AP reported the Pentagon is "likely" to reduce to number of furlough days from 11 to as few as six as leaders scrimp to find savings in the fiscal 2013 budget.

Read a recent NGAUS blog post on these developments here.