WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about the pending Defense cuts under Sequestration. During his speech he said that the Obama administration is “leaning on” industry to delay pink slips that are required by law.
“I have every reason to believe, because I’ve heard from people in industry, that the President of the United States is trying to get them to avoid sending pink slips out until after the November 7 election,” said Inhofe. “I would remind him that we have something called the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the WARN Act. It requires these companies to give 60 days’ notice of pending layoffs.
“Since Sequestration will take place on January 2nd, these workers must be notified of their pink slip by November 2nd. This is what I’d like to remind those companies: they don’t have to wait. If they want to notify workers today, they can do that. I think it is imperative that the workers who are going to be laid off work as a result of the Obama Sequestration be notified in advance of the November election. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that happens.”
Under the federal WARN Act, employers must give employees 60 days’ notice of layoffs. That means employees must be notified of sequestration cuts by Nov. 2, 2012 — just days before this year’s election. In some cases, state law requires 90 days’ notice, meaning that some will get the news on Oct. 2.
The Oklahoman reported on a study that shows Oklahoma stands to lose 16,000 jobs under Sequestration. When factoring in potential cuts in military personnel, the number of lost jobs in Oklahoma increases to over 20,000.
In additional remarks prepared for delivery, Inhofe said, “The answer from Senate Democrats to this threat to our national security: use the cuts as leverage against Republicans to raise taxes on small business because they see no political downside in delaying action on the implementation of cuts. Yesterday, an Ernst & Young study showed that such a tax increase would cost our economy 700,000 additional jobs. Under the Obama economy, our nation has endured more than 41 months with at or over 8 percent unemployment.
“So, the options President Obama and the Democrats are giving this nation with this radical approach is fewer jobs on one hand, or fewer jobs on the other hand. We need more jobs – not fewer jobs and we must keep our national security strong. We need a permanent fix now, or at least a temporary fix that removes sequestration from the current political environment.”