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Senator to DoD: Transition 300K military jobs to civilian employees

Nov. 15, 2012 - 03:52PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments

The Defense Department should transition 300,000 transportation, communications and supply chain positions currently performed by military personnel into federal civilian positions at the department, according to a new report by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

That would save about $37 billion over 10 years, according to the report.

That was one of many recommendations in the report, released Thursday, that outlined how DoD could save nearly $68 billion over 10 years by cutting spending on education, grocery stores and alternative energy, among other areas.

Coburn argued that DoD should not be funding projects that can be done by other agencies.

“Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies,” Coburn said.

The report comes as Congress is trying to figure out how to avoid automatic, governmentwide budget cuts slated for Jan. 2 that could force agencies to furlough or lay off hundreds of thousands of employees

The cuts — known as sequestration — are required by last year's Budget Control Act unless Congress and the Obama administration agree on a path to reducing budget deficits by $1.2 trillion through 2021.

Other areas the report said DoD should consider eliminating include:

• Ending subsidies to DoD grocery stores and shopping centers. Instead, military service members should be given a pay increase to allow them to shop where the choose, saving DoD about $9 billion over 10 years, according to the report.

• Eliminating the Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools program could save over $10.7 billion over 10 years. The private sector could do a better job at less cost, according to the report.

• The Defense Department’s efforts in promoting renewable and alternative energy should be handled instead by the Energy Department — which would save $700 million — according to the report.

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