Sequestration to Trigger Today: Cuts to Commissaries and Exchanges
If Congress and the President do not reach an agreement today, March 1, 2013, automatic cuts triggered by Sequestration will go into affect by midnight. As a military family or concerned citizen it is important for you to know that the Department of Defense (DoD) will have to cut all operating accounts by 9.2 percent. These budget cuts will also affect Commissaries and Exchanges, as well as Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs.
Commissaries will see taxpayer support cut by $130 million in operating funds, and by an additional $25 million in surcharge dollars. To prepare for these budget cuts, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) already:
- Imposed an agency-wide hiring freeze for all outside DeCA hires.
- Reduced official travel for all conferences, training, events and activities.
- Cancelled May case lot sales for overseas commissaries – including Alaska and Hawaii.
- Released temporary workers.
If Sequestration is triggered, beginning the end of April through September 21st, DeCA will:
- Furlough every DeCA employee on Wednesdays for up to 22 days, which equates to a 20% reduction in pay.
- Close all commissaries on Wednesdays – with limited exceptions at overseas locations where there are sufficient Local National employees to remain open.
- Close DeCA Headquarters every Wednesday.
Sequestration will also impact Exchanges which provide a share of their earnings to support MWR programs. These budget cuts will:
- Reduce base operations and maintenance funding, which will impact transportation support to Exchanges and MWR programs.
- Increase pressure on the Exchanges to provide more of their earnings for MWR programs, thus retaining less for investment in facilities and other capital programs.
Many military and civilian families will be affected by these cuts. Although Save Our Benefit recognizes that all defense programs must share in the effort to reduce costs, budget cutters continue to overlook the fact that military resale is part of the solution to curbing defense spending, not part of the problem.
We are proud that the military resale system has led the way by cutting billions of dollars in operating costs through efficiency initiatives, while providing $4.5 billion in annual savings to millions of service members, veterans, and their families.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Benefits?
- Join Save Our Benefit and like us on Facebook. Ask your friends to do the same.
- Use your earned benefits by shopping at your commissary and exchange. Encourage other military families to use their benefits as well.
- Visit our Patrons Savings Portal for additional savings at your commissary and exchange.