KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are 2,800 government employees who work at the Richard Bolling Federal Building in downtown Kansas City. They — and most other federal workers across the country — will soon be forced to take time off work without pay unless Congress can agree on a new budget deficit reduction package.
They have three more days to get a deal done or else federal furloughs will begin in April. Government workers would then be forced to take about three weeks off work without pay this year to help the government save $1.2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. This is all a part of the government’s self-imposed sequester.
To sequester is to cut government spending, and Congress and the President agreed that unless they came to terms with budget cuts by March 1, automatic budget cuts would take effect, reducing domestic programs by 9 percent and defense programs by 13 percent.
If the sequester happens, more than two million federal workers will bring home less pay this year.
“Well, ideally, we would have done the right thing, and that’s pass appropriations bills and reduce spending where we think is fit,” said Sen. Ron Paul, (R) South Carolina. “The sequester is sort of a hammer.”
President Obama wants a mix of tax increases and spending cuts, while Republicans say they agreed to a tax increase last month and don’t want to do raise taxes again.
They have until the end of this week to come to an agreement — or else the federal worker furloughs will begin.