“The Labor Department is not a major shareholder in corporations like Lockheed Martin or (Pratt & Whitney parent)United Technologies,” Burbage said.
“Generally speaking, if we know there’s a potential to have a major reduction in the future, we have to take appropriate action,” he said. “All we are trying to do is be transparent with our employees so that nobody is caught by surprise.”
Lawmakers from both parties say they oppose the across-the-board cuts that will hit in January as a result of a budget deal made a year ago, but they have not been able to agree on alternative ways to reduce spending.
Congress is on a five-week recess and when it returns in September, it will have only 11 legislative days to try to broker a deal before the November election.
With both parties dug into partisan positions on budget and spending issues, a resolution is not likely until a post-election “lame duck” session of Congress that will be crowded with other fiscal deadlines.