Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) is up in arms tonight at the Obama Administration’s “guidance” released over the weekend to major defense firms, reiterating his call to ignore the WARN Act and promising that his administration would “reimburse” them for any legal fees or fines they get for ignoring the law.
The WARN Act issue dates back to late July, when the administration initially told the arms makers to ignore the law’s requirement to give 60 days advanced notice of anticipated layoffs related to sequestration. With sequestration scheduled to take place on January 1, the warnings would be delivered in early November, just days before the presidential election.
This could have huge political consequences, and so the Labor Department argued that the law could just be ignored in this case. A number of the well-connected arms makers expressed concern about what would happen if they followed advice and ended up getting fined or sued.
That’s where the new guidance comes in, with a promise that the federal government would cheerfully repay any fines and legal fees that might come as a result of this. Graham termed the advanced promise to refund companies for politically expedient crimes “patently illegal.” Lockheed Martin has announced they will take the administration up on the offer, but whether others will or not remains to be seen.