Wright-Patterson AFB furloughs could begin in April

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — The White House released more information Monday on those proposed federal cuts known as Sequestration .

In Ohio alone, 26,000 civilians with the Department of Defense could be furloughed, reducing pay by about $161 million statewide. Air Force Operations would be cut by about $3 million.

Almost 13,000 civilian workers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base also face 22 day unpaid furlough days.  Colonel Cassie Barlow says this could reduce their wages by as much as 20%. The furloughs here at the base would begin in late April.  Colonel Barlow says they're already providing guidance and support for those employees to get them through this difficult time.  

But, it's not just those employees who will be hit hard by these cuts.

"It's not just devastating to all the employees who are losing wages and having to pay bills.  It's also devastating to the local community who is expecting those wages to come through the community.  So, all of the local, you know, real estate agents, the car salesmen, all of the great people in the Miami Valley who serve us every single day will obviously see less business," explains Colonel Barlow.  

Senator Rob Portman toured the air force base Monday afternoon.  He says Congress and the President can't keep kicking the can down the road.  Senator Portman tells me he's hopeful they can come to a compromise in the eleventh hour to avoid these massive cuts.

"One, we need to make sure the cuts aren't so concentrated on the military and, two, to the extent there are needed reductions in spending, it needs to be done through flexibility.  So, we can prioritize the programs that are most important and not do it with a meat cleaver but rather a scalpel," comments Senator Portman.

If they can't come to agreement, these cuts will go into effect Friday.

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