WASHINGTON — With millions of federal workers facing possible unpaid furloughs from mandatory budget cuts slated to start Friday, Sen. Patty Murray took to the Senate floor Tuesday to point out the culprits: Republicans.
The Washington Democrat spoke out against the $85 billion in spending cuts while standing next to a chart labeled “Republican Plan for Sequestration.” A red WARN NOTICE was stamped on it.
That was a reference to a 30-day notice of furloughs that are expected to go out starting March 1 at most government agencies, from the Pentagon to the Bureau of Prisons to the Food and Drug Administration. The Federal Aviation Administration, for instance, has announced that in order to cut $483 million from its operating budget, all of its 40,000 workers will have to take 11 unpaid days off this year.
Murray contends Republicans’ refusal to accept any new taxes in order to offset the spending cuts is directly to blame for the coming furloughs. Republicans counter that they’ve already agreed to raise income taxes on families earning more than $450,000 a year and won’t agree to more.