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Meat Inspectors, Prison Guards Avert Furloughs!

It’s an Easter miracle! In fact, two of them. And both of these joyous tidings were snuck out on Friday evening in the hope that most people would never hear about them, and realize how easily the sequester apocalypse can be averted.

First, from CNN’s Money.com:

Meat industry rescues federal workers

By Jennifer Liberto | March 22, 2013

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) – At least one type of government worker has a friend in big business. Over 9,000 federal food inspectors won’t face furloughs after top companies from the meat and poultry industries spoke out in support of them.

In a bill passed by both houses of Congress and sent to President Obama on Thursday, food safety and inspection workers avoided 11 days of furlough, or one day a week from July through September.

Could this article be any more confusing? In fact, Congress suddenly ‘found’ the money to fund meat inspectors. And it had nothing to do with the meat industry speaking out in support of inspectors, and everything to do with getting re-elected in 16 months.

So far, they are the only federal workers that Congress has agreed to deliver from furloughs.

This is not true. (See second story.)

Close to a million federal workers will be forced to stay home without pay from 3 to 22 days, depending on the agency, thanks to $85 billion in forced budget cuts that took effect March 1…

In typical CNN fashion, nothing in that last sentence is true. The total cuts for 2013 are only $44 billion. (And they aren’t even cuts.) And there is no reason for this 1% reduction in spending should force anyone to be furloughed.

Moreover, most of these "close to a million federal workers" work for the Defense Department (800,000). And, as we reported last week, Congress found another $10 billion dollars to fund the Pentagon. Which means that their ‘cuts’ now only have to total around $12 billion, which is around 1 percent of their budget.

Meanwhile, we also have this Friday news dump from the Obama administration, via the Associated Press:

Eric Holder averts furloughs of prison staffers

March 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder says he has averted daily furloughs of 3,570 federal prison staffers around the country, moving $150 million from other Justice Department accounts to stave off a serious threat to the lives and safety of correctional staff, inmates and the public…

What a genius he must be! To actually manage to do what every administrator has had to do since time immemorial: shift money around based on priorities.

Holder’s memo did not say which department agencies were tapped for the $150 million and spokeswoman Nanda Chitre [sic] declined to comment on that question Saturday.

Holder said the cuts still raise serious issues…

Naturally.

The attorney general said moving the $150 million can protect prison facilities through the end of the fiscal year in September, but does not resolve "serious life and safety issues" the Bureau of Prisons faces next year.

Holder said his department has already required extensive cuts to travel, training, contracts and other accounts.

Boo hoo.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, March 25th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Meat Inspectors, Prison Guards Avert Furloughs!”

  1. Maybe the Meat Unions can borrow their wages from the PLO

  2. Why do they need prison guards? I thought they had to release all the prisoners because of the sequester (weeks before it actually happened).




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