Republicans: Obama administration hiding big job losses from sequester
Republicans accused the Obama administration Tuesday of intimidating defense contractors and seeking to hide job losses from pending cuts to the Pentagon’s budget in order to help the president’s reelection campaign.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republicans pointed to guidance issued Monday by the Department of Labor that said it would be “inappropriate” for defense firms to issue layoff notices to employees before the election due to the pending cuts.
“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....
Sen. Obama supported layoff warnings; now sees no need
...President Obama's administration doesn’t see the need for defense contractors to warn employees about possible layoffs from across-the-board budget cuts, but in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama railed against employers for failing to notify workers who were in danger of losing their jobs.
“The least employers can do when they’re anticipating layoffs is to let workers know they’re going to be out of a job and a paycheck with enough time to plan for their future,” Mr. Obama said in a news release on July 17, 2007, while campaigning for president.
The Obama administration said Monday in guidance from the Labor Department that federal contractors don’t need to warn their employees that they could lose their jobs because of the looming budget cuts that are slated to begin Jan. 2. The agency said it would be “inappropriate” for employers to send such warnings because the $110 billion in cuts are still speculative. Defense programs would be the target of about half of the cuts.
The Labor Department’s letter came after a Pentagon official said Defense Department contractors could be sending layoff notices days before the Nov. 6 presidential election. ...