Time is running out for the White House and congressional lawmakers to avoid sequestration cuts, which are scheduled to begin at the beginning of next month. As March nears, lawmakers are not hard at work – they are on vacation. The time off is not sitting well with many federal workers whose financial welfare could in jeopardy.
By all appearances, lawmakers in Washington aren’t too worried about the $1 trillion in cuts that are set to go in place in less than two weeks. The president spent the weekend golfing with Tiger Woods in Florida, Congress is on a ten-day vacation, and the halls of the Capitol building are empty.
Many citizens are worried about the impact of sequestration, like Amanda Farrell, who’s already seen changes in her hometown of Norfolk.
“It kind of feels like they’re out of touch,” she says. “We’ve got problems with the economy to begin with and now you’re talking about devastating some communities. They’re talking about shutting down our ship yards and cutting back on the military. I mean Norfolk, that’s our livelihood.”
Sequestration calls for $1.2 trillion in cuts starting March 1, $85 billion of them in 2013 alone.
“It kills me when some politician is like ‘I’m just like you.’ No, you’re not,” says Alicia Salcedo Baez.
With possibly tens of thousands of people losing their jobs as a result of the cutbacks, many can’t believe lawmakers aren’t in town to work on a deal.