OMB employees begin furloughs

The White House tells "a majority" of career staff not to come to work. It's the first of 10 furlough days over the next six months. Labor, FAA and EPA also hav...

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that political appointees are not subject to sequestration-related furloughs. In fact, only leave-exempt Presidential appointees will not be subject to the furloughs.)

Furloughs have started at the Office of Management and Budget.

An OMB official confirmed that “the majority of OMB’s staff is on furlough today.”

The official didn’t provide an exact number, and the staff that is furloughed includes only career employees. In addition to career employes, most political appointees will also face furloughs, according to an OMB official. Only leave-exempt Presidential appointees (defined by statute) will not be subject to the forced time off.

The official said OMB issued furlough notices on March 7 to 480 employees, alerting them they will have to take 10 days starting April 21 through Sept. 30.

OMB joins a growing number of agencies that have started to keep employees home. The list includes the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Labor Department.

FAA furloughs have already caused flight delays. The Associated Press reported some flights out of New York and Washington were delayed by more than two hours as the FAA kept planes on the ground. The federal agency has said furloughs of air traffic controllers could lead to delays if there aren’t enough people to monitor busy air corridors.

EPA’s furloughs started on Earth Day, leading one employee, who was off today, to note the irony of the decision.

The U.S. Park Police also began furloughs Sunday. Eventually, all 760 employees will face 14 days off without pay to deal with the $5 million in cuts under sequestration, Jon Jarvis, director of the Park Police, told the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month.


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