These cuts will affect all of New York State and that includes us here at home. Defense, domestic spending and medicare could all see cuts - and we can expect to see layoffs and the loss of service programs. For the last few weeks all eyes have been on congress to reach an agreement, but that agreement never came.
"It will have a devastating effect on our employee base here. Approximately 20 percent of their pay will be taken from period April 23rd- September 30th," says Ed Abounader, council president of AFGE's DFAS council 171.
"That would be 2 days out of your 2 week pay period that you wouldn't get paid off. Depending upon your pay, comes out to 20 percent of their annual pay which is quite substantial," says Abounader.
DFAS management has been meeting since Wednesday looking for ways to lessen the impact, but Abounader says it's more than DFAS that will feel the blow.
"Given our employees make almost 34 thousand a piece and we have almost 1 thousand employees here, that economic impact is tremendous. The residual effect to the community would be very difficult," says Abounader.
So how did this happen? The so-called sequestration is the outcome of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Part of this law had $1.2 trillion dollars set aside over the next 10 years that was going to be taken from the federal deficit. A super committee was formed in congress with both Democrats and Republicans to figure out where this money would come from. That committee failed and now it looks like we'll be seeing the cuts. And state lawmakers say Central New York will be hit hard.
"I think it's gonna be substantial for our community because so much of what we have here is directly related to military spending," says U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, (R) 22nd District.
gonna be substantial for our community because so much of what we have here is directly related to military spending.
"Education for special needs kids, money for locals firefighters, police, teachers, will all be cut. Also in New York, there's a lot of military cuts, and so a lot of the manufacturing that we do here in Upstate New York and in the Mohawk Valley will be cut, jobs will be laid off," says Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D) New York.
"This is a self inflicted wound that frankly never anticipated to take place and shouldn't be, but here it is," says U.S. Representative Hanna.
Congressman Hanna says the good news - if there is any - is that once the President signs the order to start the spending cuts, any layoffs or furloughs of federal workers won't begin for at least another 30 days due to federal regulations. And he hopes that Congress will come to an agreement before that time is up.