There is one week left to avoid sequestration, or the automatic spending cuts that will take effect March 1 if President Obama and Congress cannot reach a deal. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, area business and those in the defense industry are bracing for furloughs that could impact the 13,000 civilian employees, which could have a ripple effect on the local economy. Jessica Wehrman joins Emily McCord for this week's PoliticsOhio. She's a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch based in Washington, D.C., and her stories appear in the Dayton Dailys News.
Business owners and officials of cities surrounding Wright Patterson Air Force Base say they are increasingly uneasy about possible furloughs brought on by sequestration.
Wright-Patterson Air could furlough up to 13,000 civilian employees for 22 days beginning in April if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to avert sequestration, or automatic defense and domestic spending reductions set to begin March 1st.
The Pentagon said Wednesday that those civilian employees could be notified by mid-March.
Officials at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton say that under guidance from the Department of Defense, they have begun planning for a potential reduction of 15% of their operating budget as a result of sequestration. In a press conference Thursday, Col. Cassie Barlow told reporters that a furlough of civilian employees isn't out of the question, but it would be a last resort.
The budget cuts handed down to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base this week include a civilian hiring freeze, the elimination of some temporary positions and the curtailing of certain travel and purchasing costs. Emily McCord speaks to Vice President for federal programs at the Dayton Development Coalition, Michael Gessel, to discuss how these small measures now could signal larger cuts in the future.