Last week Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced via email that the intelligence community would not be furloughing any employees in the organization’s 17-agency workforce. The announcement came just days after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the number of furlough days for Department of Defense employees to eleven.
Clapper has been vocal about the impact of sequestration on intelligence activities. In last week’s email, he reminded employees that while they may have avoided furlough, tough decisions remain in the coming weeks and months:
“Over time, the significant impact of these cuts will force us to prioritize our intelligence activities with increasingly limited resources,” wrote Clapper. “During these challenging times, when the array of threats we face is so vast, we need every intelligence professional focused on our mission.”
The Department of Defense will begin implementing its furlough days July 8th. Some classes of employees were exempted from the furloughs in last week’s announcement, including shipyard workers and National Intelligence Program personnel.
Both government leaders and members of congress remain skeptical about the prospect of a deal between the White House and congress to avoid further across the board cuts, and won’t promise they won’t be forced to furlough again in 2014. In remarks to employees of the Mark Center in Alexandria, Va., Hagel tried to remain upbeat, but emphasized he can’t build a budget based on hope.