Democrats To Tout CRS Report Conclusions On Federal Furloughs

Congressional Democrats plan today to tout a report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service showing that federal employees need not be furloughed as quickly as the administration contends to make up for defense budget shortfalls. President Bush and administration officials have threatened that Defense Department civilian employees will be furloughed shortly if Congress fails to appropriate more funds for the Iraq War.

Democrats have countered that the Defense Department can transfer funds from elsewhere to meet payroll needs.

"We are absolutely convinced, CRS is convinced that there is no necessity to furlough federal employees," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).  "Nor will there be any necessity to shut down or close programs. In fact we believe there’s more than enough money to operate the Defense Department for the end of this quarter…and well into next quarter."

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and other congressional Democrats will hold a press conference this afternoon to publicize the CRS findings.