How sequester could impact Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Federal workers here in the metro are stressed out, worried about how being furloughed for up to four weeks will affect their family's budget. They depend on their paychecks to feed their families. And being forced to take time off work without pay will affect many senior citizens.

Those who work for the Social Security Administration in Kansas City are in charge of getting out social security checks on time. But if all the employees are forced to take unpaid time off this year, it could slow down the delivery of of those checks to those who depend on them. All government services would slow down. Add in the fact that federal workers haven't received a raise in at least three years and you have some very frustrated people.

"I'm just really sick of them holding my dinner table hostage," said Deborah Love with the Social Security Department. "We haven't pushed the panic button here at Social Security. We're just operating as normal. That's Washington's job. Our job is to take care of the beneficiary, make sure they get their checks on time."

The White House released a report detailing how each state will be impacted by sequestration. In Missouri, schools will lose more than $22 million total, and programs that help children with disabilities will lose vital funding. The loss of Head Start funding means 1,200 low income children would have to leave the program. The military will lose $70 million, and there would be cuts in federal funding to police departments, unemployment centers and low income families who get federal help for child care and vaccinations.

Kansas faces the same kinds of cuts, though not as steep since the population is a bit smaller than Missouri. But the Sunflower State will lose more than $10 million in funding for schools, putting 140 teachers' jobs at risk. The elimination of Head Start funding would affect 500 children. And Kansas is such a big military state, cuts to Army bases would be more than in Missouri -- around $78 million.

More than 42,000 Kansas Citians work for the federal government. It's the largest employer in the metro, and unless Congress comes up with a solution, all of them -- and many of you -- will feel the impacts of these cuts in some way.

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