Barber supports CBP's decision to postpone cuts
Web Producer: Janice Yu
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - U.S. Representative Ron Barber showed his support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's decision to re-evaluate plans to furlough Border Patrol Agents and cut their overtime.
"I am glad that these cuts have been postponed and are being re-evaluated," Barber said. "As originally proposed, these cuts would have unfairly slashed the salary of Border Patrol agents and made our borders less secure."
The cuts, which were supposed to go into effect April 7, were postponed. A legislation passed two weeks ago will "allow CBP to mitigate some degree of the impacts of the reduced budget on operations and on CBP's workforce," according to the statement released by CBP.
Barber voted for a legislation that will fund the government for the rest of the 2013 fiscal year, preventing government shutdown. The legislation also gives additional funding to the Department of Homeland Security.
"But this move is only a temporary reprieve," Barber said. "I urge the Department of Homeland Security to now take the next step and assure Border Patrol agents that they will not face furloughs or overtime reductions for the rest of the fiscal year."
Cuts would have forced agents to take one unpaid day off every two weeks. There would have also been a salary reduction of up to 40 percent for agents.
Barber, after speaking to agents and families at two gatherings, wrote DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to halt CBP cuts. He also called on other House members from Arizona to write to the Speaker of the House to stop cuts that would impact Border Patrol agents.