The announcement angered leaders of the union for Weather Service employees, as they argued workers should not be penalized for the mistakes of upper management.
"Their misguided plan to furlough all agency employees is another example of the short-sighted thinking that has put them in such dire straits," said union president Dan Sobien.
"National Weather Service employees are paying for the mistakes of the agency’s leadership," Sobien added.
The move comes less than two weeks after the head of the National Weather Service suddenly retired, as an internal investigation showed that money had been diverted to weather forecasting field offices without the approval of Congress.
There was no evidence that the money had been pocketed for personal gain - instead, it was simply used to fund operations at local National Weather Service offices, by stripping money from other weather facilities.
While that might sound kosher to some outside of government, the cold truth is that no one other than the Congress can "reprogram" budget funds, one reason the Congress is demanding more answers before signing off on any deal.
So far, the Commerce Department has not released details of how it would move around money, but it would have to be done most likely before the end of June.
"It is the Department’s hope to work with the Congress to achieve this outcome," Commerce officials said in a document which was released yesterday by the National Weather Service Employees Organization.
"For years, NWSEO warned Congress that the NWS budget was underfunded," said Sobien, the union president.