Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Speaker, today, thousands of Federal workers across the country, including nearly 5,000 at the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, will start getting furlough notices. These men and women in Kittery are some of the hardest working, most skilled and dedicated shipyard workers in America. Year in and year out, they repair and refit submarines to the highest standards, on time and on budget. Last year, some of them even risked their lives to put out a fire on board the USS Miami and save it from becoming a total loss.
Now the Federal Government is telling them they could have to take what could amount to a 20 percent pay cut. That is going to be a real hardship for working families in Maine and New Hampshire. And to add insult to injury, they could even have their security clearances suspended if they fall behind on their finances.
It is outrageous that Congress has not done its job and passed a balanced debt reduction package. It is outrageous that Congress has resorted to these arbitrary and extreme budget cuts. The public workers in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and around our country deserve our thanks, not a 20 percent pay cut.