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Sequestration: Maryland Leaders Call It a Long Word for Economic Pain

Are Anne Arundel federal workers and others worried about the threat of sequestration cuts?

The sequestration talks are underway and if it occurs, its effects will be felt in Anne Arundel County and the whole state, local politicians say.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, in an appearance in Howard County on Wednesday, said that 12,000 jobs in Maryland could be lost due to sequestration.

To put that number in perspective, the governor said approximately 30,000 jobs were created in the state last year.

“All of the great work that each of you does here is threatened by the uncertainty of the dysfunction in the halls of our House of Representatives,” said O’Malley.

If Congress can’t reach a compromise on the approximately $84 billion in automatic cuts before Friday, they will go into effect. The cuts will reduce spending in a number of areas, including education, the environment, health, the military and law enforcement, the White House said.

The governor said the public is losing patience with the repeated economic crises being reported from Capitol Hill and the White House.

“We need to get out of this vortex. The election is over,” O’Malley said.

A White House report said sequestration in Maryland could mean furloughs for 46,000 civilian Department of Defense employees, reducing gross pay by around $353.7 million. It would also include funding cuts to teachers and schools, work-study jobs on college campuses, Head Start programs and environmental funding.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin wrote in a recent blog that “sequestration will result in a meat ax approach to reducing our deficit.”

The nation has been through this drill before. The sequester was set to begin on Jan. 1, 2013, if lawmakers weren’t able to reduce the budget deficit. That deadline, called the "fiscal cliff," came and went, and sequestration was postponed for two months. 

The mandated federal spending cuts will not include cuts to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and checks will continue to go out, but the Social Security Administration will likely have to furlough workers, meaning processing delays in claims and longer wait times for service.

The Baltimore Sun reports the cuts would leave people who call the agency's hotline on hold for 10 minutes and delay some disability decisions by a month.

See more:

  • Sequestration Could Impact Anne Arundel Schools
  • How Will Sequestration Budget Impact Anne Arundel?
  • Fort Meade Readies for Looming Sequester
Joe March 01, 2013 at 03:15 AM
I heard government employees may be able to claim unemployment? Like they aren't living off the tax payers enought! Get rid of the many do nothing employees. They do little or nothing and complain about it. I was working in a government office and they were sitting around watching TV. One of the people was playing a video game of golf on his work PC? There was a day were you worked at the government because of stability and the private industry for the money. Now they get both.
patricia March 01, 2013 at 01:21 PM
The governor says the federal government's dysfunction is coming from the House of Representatives?? Really. And the do nothing Senate and the White House have nothing to do with the dysfunction?? Just for those who may not know, our Congress is made up of two branches the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Senate hasn't passed a budget, in what 4 years, and our governor would like you to believe this has nothing to do with the sequester. Yet the House of Representatives have passed their own bills, that the Senate won't even bring to the floor for a vote. Sounds a lot like what goes on in Maryland. Executive Branch=President, Legislative Branch=House AND Senate, Judicial Branch=Supreme Court.

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