Government agencies & workers brace for impact of massive cuts
POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 9:24am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — We're getting a better idea of the impact of these looming budget cuts due to kick in at the end of the week.
We've heard from several government agencies in Washington - more speak out today.
However, there are no negotiations here as of this morning.
Behind closed doors, no one's talking.
So communities around the country are bracing for the impact.
Small airports could lose their overnight air traffic controllers.
"That's a gigantic safety issue for us. If we have somebody that's not paying attention to somebody coming in to land, they cross a runway in front of landing aircraft, you can just imagine what would happen," said Hagerstown Regional Airport Director, Phil Ridenour.
March air reserve base may cut maintenance and pilot training - on top of 20% pay cuts.
"It's difficult to explain to your teenager you can't have that dress for that dance," said Linda Welz who works at March Air Reserve Base.
"Companies are preparing layoff notices. Families are preparing to cut back on expenses," said President Barack Obama.
Among the first to disappear: heating assistance, food for new mothers, and money for school construction.
Unemployment checks could take a 10% hit.
And right now, politicians are pointing fingers - not negotiating.
"The President's really gotta stop campaigning and come back to the table and work with us," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia.
Today, President Obama visits a Virginia shipbuilder worried about jobs.
Nearby last night, some residents were more worried about spending.
"We're at 7 trillion that this man has spent. When is the Republican party going to stand up to this man and stop him?"
Officials even fear the cuts could make the U.S. more vulnerable to terror attacks.
"We're going to do everything we can to minimize that risk, but the sequester makes it awfully, awfully tough," said Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano.
Today we'll hear from Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, on the economic impact nationwide.