WH Never Sure Of Sequester Impact On White House Staff

RNC Communications - March 26, 2013

In case you missed this from today’s White House briefing… seems even though the White House is always sure about their sequester scare tactics, they are NEVER sure of the impact of the sequester on White House staff.


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Carney Never Sure Of Impact Of Sequester On White House Staff


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Today: Carney Said He Is “Not Sure” What Updates To Report On The Impact Of Sequestration On The White House Staff, Saying “We Will See What We Can Get For You.” REPORTER: “I just wanted to get back a little bit to the sequester and implementation here at the White House. Is there further information about that, are people getting furlough notices?” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: “I’ll have to check. You know, we were traveling, I’m not sure what updates I have on that. As we have said in the past, the sequester applies to the White House and the Executive Office of the President as it does to the rest of the Executive Branch.” REPORTER: “People have been asking about this for weeks. Is there a way to maybe corral some of the information and put it out, as opposed to just getting the question again and again and again, because we are going to keep asking again?” CARNEY: “Yeah, you know, we will see what we can get for you.” (Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/26/13)

March 14, 2013: Carney Said “I’ll Have To Check” Whether Furlough Notices Have Been Sent To White House Employees Due To The Sequester. REPORTER: “Thanks, Jay.  I just wanted to go back -- follow up on something Ann said yesterday.  When are we going to know more about how the sequester is affecting the Office of the White House?  There’s 468 employees covering various functions, and you guys have said that they’re going to face pay cuts or furloughs or…” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY:  “Well, like every agency, the impact is, as the President said, not necessarily immediate, but gradual and it will build over time.  But the White House Office and then broadly, the Executive Office of the President, are affected like other agencies by the sequester cuts, and that includes, as I understand, potential furloughs as well as pay reductions.  But I don’t have specifics right now.  And I think as they unfold, which depends on assessments made by OMB and others, we can make those available to you.  But we are in no way immune, just as the Secret Service isn’t.” REPORTER: “Is it safe -- at this point, no furlough notices have gone out to…” CARNEY:  “I’ll have to check.  I mean, I think there have been some -- there’s been some information that’s been communicated, but I don’t know if there’s been specific furlough notices.” (Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/14/13)

March 13, 2013: Carney Said “I Think We've Provided Information As It's Become Available About What Those Impacts Will Be On The Executive Branch.” REPORTER: “Just to follow up on Jon's question about the President's own budget.  Other briefers have said that every -- the sequester means that every single program from top to bottom has to be cut by the same percentage.  I don’t know what it is for nondefense -- like 9 percent or something.” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: “I think it's 9 percent and 13 percent for Defense, roughly.” REPORTER: “So does that mean that the President's budget -- personal staff, household budget?  Or were those exempted -- I mean, in terms of how it affects his golf trips and his…” CARNEY: “I believe the Executive Office of the President was affected just like every agency within the executive branch.” REPORTER: “It was?”CARNEY:  “But we've referred these questions to OMB for the details, and they have been providing information about how the sequester is affecting the White House and White House staff. REPORTER: “Right, but the problem you're going to be faced with every day is to show that the President himself is taking a hit, his own activities are being curtailed by the same percentage as all those other people who are getting furloughed.  And my question is, are they?  I mean, you work here.” CARNEY:  “I do, and everyone here works, obviously, in service of the President, and the fact is, his staff is going to be affected by the sequester.  So the President will be affected, there's no question, as the sequester takes effect and as the impacts of the sequester are felt in terms of pay reductions or furloughs or the like.  And I think we've provided information as it's become available about what those impacts will be on the executive branch.” (Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/13/13)

March 8, 2013: Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest Was Pressed By A Reporter On Never Hearing Back About The Impact Of The Sequester On White House Personnel. REPORTER: “Josh, we never heard back as to what cuts the White House is making here in its own personnel, in its own budget here as it relates to sequestration.  We’ve heard a couple of times this week that we’re going to get those details; we haven’t gotten those details.  When are we going to hear anything besides the White House tours being…” WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST:  “Well, I can tell you that there are a number of ways that the White House also has to deal with the consequences of the sequester.  The White House and the components of the White House are affected by the sequester in a way that’s similar to other government agencies.  I can tell you that we’re making significant -- that we’re also faced with making some tough decisions when it comes to ongoing projects, when it comes to purchasing equipment and supplies.  But we’re also a pretty personnel-heavy agency, if you will.  So that means that there will be agencies -- that there will be employees of components who work here at the White House that will be facing pay cuts, that will be facing furloughs.  And again, this is the result of a policy that Democrats and Republicans agree is really bad.  It’s bad for our economy.  It’s a bad way to run a government.  It doesn’t create jobs and it doesn’t do that much to reduce the deficit over the long term.  So there’s got to be a good alternative.” REPORTER: “But those will be made public?  Those details will be made public?” EARNEST: “Well, I know that the Office of Management and Budget has put forward a variety of charts that indicate the impact of the budget -- of the sequester on the budget, including the budget of the White House.  And what I have described to you is the practical impact of that to help you get a sense of what behind the numbers is the tangible impact here.  And that means that there will be some projects that are suspended.  It means that there will be some supply purchases that are put off.  And it’s going to have an impact on the personnel here at the White House -- pay cuts, furloughs and other things.” REPORTER: “In the West Wing?” EARNEST:  “I’m sorry?” REPORTER: “In the West Wing as well?” EARNEST:  “In the West Wing as well.  Everybody who works at the White House.” (Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/8/13)
March 7, 2013: Carney Said “We Can Get More Information For You” In Response To A Reporter Who Inquired About The Impact That The Sequester Had On White House Staff. REPORTER: “How is the White House impacted beyond the Secret Service as it relates to sequester?  What other offices are impacted?  How is staff impacted?  Have they been told they will be furloughed?  Will they lose pay?  Will there be cuts here?  What can you tell us?” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY:  “The answer is that the White House office -- the Executive Office of the President and the White House office within that are all affected in similar ways as the rest of the executive branch and the government.  And notifications have -- there’s various notifications about potential furloughs and the like.  I don't have details for you because -- and like with a lot of these agencies, this is a gradual process as notifications are made.  But we can get more information for you on that. I mean, the reason why -- if decisions haven’t been made yet or notifications haven’t resulted yet in furloughs, I don't have -- I’m not going to say that this person is going to have to be furloughed today if that hasn’t happened yet, and we don't know when that will happen specifically.” (Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/7/13)

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