As many in the Valley look forward to the holidays, a second-round sequestration may be right behind it to steal the joy. The second round of cuts is likely to hit in January, around the same time a resolution to keep funding government agencies is set to run out.
Sequestration started eight months ago and we are still in the midst of it. According to the Center for American Progress, the second round of forced across-the-board cuts could be worse than what the country already went through earlier this year.
"All I heard when I was on Capitol Hill was 'more cuts, more cuts,'" said Abner Merriweather. Merriweather heads 9,500 workers in Redstone's biggest civilian employee union. In Washington last week, he got a look at Fiscal Year 2014 from Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
"When he first sat down, he said it looks scary," Merriweather said.
Redstone Arsenal said in a statement that "more is unknown than known at this point. We will continue to operate under a continuing resolution and will abide by the direction of Congress over the next 45 days."
Accounting tricks or reserves federal agencies used to soften Sequestration 2013 have been used up. Sequestration for an entire year would mean larger cuts and more furlough days.
"It's cumulative. The cuts are cumulative on those that have already been experienced for fiscal year 2013. The pain is going to increase in intensity," said Wally Kirkpatrick, CEO of DESE Research.
A House and Senate budget committee is working to come up with a spending package that could stop another sequester, but a deal looks far-fetched.
"They really need to sit down and hash this thing out," said Merriweather. "The workforce is suffering, and at the end of the day, who is suffering is the soldiers."
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