WASHINGTON – A day without pay is apparently the biggest worry for thousands of people in northern Virginia.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., says despite heavy debates in Congress on immigration reform, he heard more about the impending furloughs than anything else as he made the rounds during July 4 events this past week.
“Six-hundred thousand civilian employees at the Pentagon, for example, are about to be furloughed and that’s very much on people’s minds and making a lot of anxiety,” he says.
Connolly represents Virginia’s 11th District in Fairfax and Prince William counties. It is one of the most affluent congressional districts in the country and is home to thousands of government employees and hundreds of government contractors.
The Pentagon says roughly 85 percent of its 900,000 civilian employees will be furloughed for one day a week over the next three months. Those furloughs will start this week.
Defense officials have been able to shift money around to limit the furloughs, but thousands of civilian, military and contract jobs could be on the chopping block next year.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to provide more details this week on how the next wave of across-the-board budget cuts will affect the department.