Tags: defense | cuts | gop | job

GOP: White House Tries to Hide Job Losses from Defense Cuts

By    |   Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:48 AM

The Obama administration is pressuring defense contractors not to dump workers before the election to hide the job losses that will ultimately result from automatic defense spending cuts slated to begin next year, according to Republican congressmen.

The White House seeks to boost President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign through the move, they say. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans cite guidance from the Labor Department Monday telling defense companies it would be “inappropriate” to dump workers before the election, The Hill reports.

“The president doesn’t want people reading about pink slips in the weeks before his election, so the White House is telling people to keep the effects of these cuts secret. ‘Don’t tell anybody,’ he says, ‘keep it a secret,’ until, of course, after the election,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens brought the issue to the fore last month, when he threatened to issue layoff notices to all 123,000 of his employees on the Friday before the election in response to a law requiring large employers to notify employees 60 days in advance of layoffs caused by an expected event. Trade groups say 1 million defense jobs may be axed.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, blasted the White House Tuesday for trying to “intimidate” companies from alerting their employees that their jobs may be in danger.

“I think it’s really disgusting, quite frankly,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of the administration’s guidance. “The companies have to comply with the law, and the law of the land is come January, sequestration [automatic spending cuts] begins.”

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Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:48 AM
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