The automatic budget cutting set for March 1 would hamper the government’s ability to protect the public in a range of areas, according to several warnings that were sounded Wednesday.
The Department of Homeland Security said sequestration “would roll back border security, increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry and airports, affect aviation and maritime safety security, leave critical infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper response time” and weaken cybersecurity protections.
In a letter
to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.), the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said frontline law enforcement personnel would have to be furloughed for a total of 14 days and the department might have to lay off employees.
The letter did not specify the potential scheduling of furloughs, but the Defense Department, facing similar cutbacks
as are nearly all federal agencies, has said it would spread out the unpaid furlough days starting in April through the remainder of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. Furloughs could not begin until after a 30-day notice period and certain aspects are subject to bargaining
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