WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement Tuesday after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the sequester-induced furloughs of civilian employees of the Defense Department would come to an end after six days, instead of the planned 11:

“The men and women who work for our nation’s military, whether they wear a uniform or not, are essential to our national security and deserve better than to be furloughed because of arbitrary spending cuts. The reduction in the number of sequester-induced furlough days is welcome news for the more than 1,400 civilians employed by the military in Delaware, for whom today’s announcement amounts to a week’s pay that will no longer be taken from them because of Congress’ inaction.

“The end of these furloughs is no substitute for responsibly replacing the reckless sequester with a balanced approach to reducing our nation’s dangerous deficits. Until we end the sequester, there is no guarantee that these Delawareans will not face additional furloughs and other unfortunate consequences next year.”