White House: 480 furlough notices sent at budget office

(CNN) -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced Monday that nearly 500 furlough notices have gone out to administration employees in reaction to the forced government spending cuts known as sequestration.

"The White House is one of eleven components of the Executive Office of the President which is indeed, as we have said, subject to the sequester," Carney said. "Within the Executive Office of the President, several offices have sent furlough notices to their staff, including to 480 employees of the Office of Management and Budget."

According to estimates released when the budget cuts went into effect on March 1, OMB must cut $7 million from the $89 million remaining in its annual budget. Other departments within the EOP have thus far been successful in reducing spending in ways that have avoided the need for furloughs, Carney said, but "additional furloughs as well as pay cuts remain possibilities for additional White House employees."

"In order to meet the effects of the sequester, many components of the EOP have significantly scaled back equipment purchases and supply purchases, curtailed staff travel, reduced the use of air cards and they are reviewing contracts that they have on an ongoing basis to identify opportunities to reduce cost, improve efficiencies without undermining their core mission," Carney added.

When pressed on whether any other departments within EOP would be forced to furlough employees, Carney would only repeat his earlier warning that additional furloughs and pay cuts may be possible as long as across-the-board budget cuts remain in effect.

"I'm saying that's the number I have for EOP and it's 480 at OMB," Carney said. "That's what I have for you."


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