The Campaign Spot

The Mystery of the Sequestration Signs at Miami Airport

From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Morning Jolt reader Dexter flew through Miami recently and encountered this sign:


For a short furlough of a covered employee, the law (5 U.S.C. 7513) gives a covered employee the following rights:

At least 30 calendar days advance written notice by the agency stating the specific reasons for the proposed action. (Typically, the reasons for the action would involve a lack of work or funds.) The 30 calendar day period begins upon an employee’s receipt of the written notice. Therefore, agencies should plan accordingly to allow time for mailing the notice when hand-delivery is not possible.

As you know, it has been 19 days since the sequestration was announced.

So either someone broke the law and furloughed Customs and Border Protection employees without thirty days notice, or this sign is pre-emptive. Of course, the sign is in past tense, “staffing has been reduced.”

Gee, what else happened at Miami airports last month?

“The lines were not going to get better, they were going to get worse, “said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, “and that prediction came true.” The congresswoman toured local airports Monday to witness the delays firsthand. She called the situation “unacceptable.”

While he toured the airport with Napolitano and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, [Democratic Rep. Joe] Garcia noted that half of the 72 booths at the international-passenger checkpoint were unstaffed on Wednesday.

Giant delays, and signs blaming sequestration furloughs that haven’t taken effect yet, one month after the chair of the Democratic National Committee comes to tour and declare the situation unacceptable? What an amazingly convenient sequence of events.

UPDATE: For a comparison to elsewhere in the government, a reader familiar with the Department of Defense tells me, “First furlough notices for DoD are due this Thursday – so it will be another 30 days from then…late April.”


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