Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff painted a dire picture of construction projects on hold, limits on aircraft carriers patrolling the waters and even a delay in the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans' funerals at Arlington could be cut to 24 a day from 31 because of furloughs among civilian employees who work with families to schedule services as well as furloughs among crews that dig the graves and do other grounds work. Troops killed in action in Afghanistan will be the priority; they usually are laid to rest within two weeks.
The Pentagon says it will be forced to furlough for one day a week about 15,000 teachers who work at schools around the world for children of people in the military. The teachers are among some 800,000 defense department civilians who will lose a day's pay each week for more than five months.
The Army will let go more than 3,000 temporary and contract employees and beginning in April, it will cancel maintenance at depots which will force 5,000 more layoffs. The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels will cancel air show appearances.â¿¿FOOD SAFETY There could be an estimated 2,100 fewer food safety inspections. That could mean greater risks to consumers, because of the cuts and because the lack of a new 2013 budget means the Food and Drug Administration is held at last year's spending level. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says most of the effects wouldn't be felt for a while, and the agency won't have to furlough workers. On meat inspections, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that it will be "several months" before meat inspectors are furloughed as part of across-the-board spending cuts. He said that each meat inspector will likely be furloughed 11 days or 12 days, instead of 15 days as the Obama administration indicated earlier.