A Letter to My Representatives in Congress

To Representative Scott, Senator Warner and Senator Kaine:

[Note: you can read Representative Scott’s response here and Senator Kaine’s response here.]

I write in regard to a number of my congregants who are being directly hurt by the effects of the 2013 budget “sequester”, and to request that Congress act to help them.

The congregation I serve is located in Hampton Roads, a region that benefits economically and culturally from the presence of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, NASA’s Langley Research Center, many military bases and facilities, and the shipyards and other industries that support both valuable scientific research and crucial national security operations.  During the last year or more, I have heard a number of my congregants — including civilians and veterans — express uncertainty about their future financial security, thanks to the sequester.  Well, those people are now being hurt by Congress’ (in)decision to allow that the sequester happen.

Jefferson Labs, for instance, is putting its staff on a 20% furlough, requiring them to reduce their hours by one day a week.  Thanks to on-going pay freezes, their families were already struggling to make ends meet.  This not only compounds the damage to those families, but also depresses the economy of the region — and the state — as a whole, hindering our economic recovery.  The irony is that there is money available in other places within the budget, but the sequester prevents it from being moved so that it can be used for salaries.

Congress has already acted to allow some government agencies the flexibility to fine-tune the effects of the sequester.  And we all noticed that when flight delays threatened to personally inconvenience members of Congress, they did just that for the FAA.  I write to ask you to allow that same flexibility as needed to mitigate the devastating effects of the sequester on the good people of Hampton Roads.

Yours, in faith,

Rev. Andrew C. Millard
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
Newport News, Virginia

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3 Comments »

  1. […] (This is in reply to a Letter to My Representatives in Congress.) […]

  2. acmillard said

    An update from one of my parishioners: “Good news on the job front. It appears Congress will allow JLab to move money between accounts in order to mitigate the sequestration law. In short, we are told that salaries/work hours will not be cut by 20%.”

  3. […] (This is in reply to a Letter to My Representatives in Congress.) […]

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