In remarks to the County Commissioners' Association of West Virginia in Charleston, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Monday warned about the dangers of across-the-board cuts in Federal spending, known as sequestration, that are set to take effect beginning on March 1, but also expressed optimism about the Congress acting to avert the worst consequences.
"If so-called sequestration and across-the-board cuts in spending are allowed to take full effect, there should be no doubt that it would cause severe disruptions in essential government services and funding that would be felt by every West Virginian. The potential closing of airport towers across West Virginia is only one of several nightmare scenarios that could occur unless Congress acts," said Rahall.
"Federal agencies are required to plan for the worst in the light of looming budget cuts, but they also have some flexibility in managing their workforce and budget. Furloughs and layoffs of government workers -- if they happen at all -- would not start to occur until April at the earliest, which means there is a four-week window of opportunity for the Congress to act," said Rahall.
"I will be pushing hard in support of a responsible budget fix that minimizes disruptions and averts the worst consequences of the sequester. Reasonable leaders of both parties are already at work to reach a sensible accord and there is no reason why the Congress cannot get its job done," said Rahall.