SUITLAND, Md. (AP)– Concerned federal workers filled a library at the U.S. Census Bureau’s headquarters on Friday to hear union leaders and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin talk about how the debt limit deal and future budget cuts could affect federal employees.


Beth Moten, legislative and political director for the American Federation of Government Employees, said employees should brace for a messy process as lawmakers work on cutting federal deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next decade.


“We’ve got a lot of time here before we know what’s going to happen, but I am gravely concerned about the potential for job loss,” Moten told the crowded library just outside of Washington.


Johnny Zuagar, a union representative with the AFGE Local 2782, said he was concerned about future cuts, and he noted a proposal floated by House Republicans to cut between 650 and 700 jobs from the Census headquarters. He said many employees are wondering what will happen.


“They’re afraid, and until we see that final bill, you know, we’ve got to be concerned,” said Zuagar, a statistician at census headquarters.


Cardin, a Democrat, said the debt limit agreement takes the pressure off the initial proposal by the House GOP to cut census jobs.


“We know the work you’re doing here and it’s wrong to tell you to do it with less, so we’re going to do everything we can to preserve the budget,” Cardin said.


Nathaniel Booth, an intern who is in his third year working in facilities management at the census complex, said he and other interns are worried about what the cuts will mean to the future of their program.


“With the budget cuts and things of that nature, they’re not necessarily sure how that’s going to effect the internship program itself, whether they are even going to bring us back, so that’s one of our concerns — just making sure that we’re able to come back and continue to work,” Booth said.


Adria Thomas, who also is an intern at the census, said the timing is especially concerning because interns in the program are about to graduate and will be looking for jobs soon.


“I am extremely concerned because I have a family member that works with the federal government,” Thomas said. “Also, with other student interns, we are looking for employment really soon, since we are graduating really soon, so that’s a major component with all of the interns and a concern for us.”


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (7)
  1. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    How do you tell people that they are about to be LAID-OFF in the near future? You have to be a good BULL SHI ER!!

  2. Cathy says:

    I for one do not feel sorry for the federal employees.for the last few yrs alot of people have lost their jobs, STATE,COUNTY, PRIVATE COMPANIES ETC, Not once have we heard about any feds getting cut,Somene I know works for social security and just got a raise beacuse she was moved into a different level.,They need to get laid off or benefits cut just like everyone else.There are employees making 6.7,or 8 figure salariesmand some peols that do not have jobs are bringing home 300.00 unemployemnt,cannot find jobs.

  3. David says:

    Cathy….some federal employees make 6 figures but THERE ARE NONE making 7 or 8 figures. And by the way, Congress and the Administration are looking at several options that will severaly cut federal employee benefits and wages. The only question is will they incluce themselves in those cuts or exempt themselves!

  4. DemFail says:

    cut these useless govt workers. 10 bean counters for every 2 tax payers no more free money maryland you got to cut your welfare state taxes and employees. oh thanks for the credit rating default democrats!
    we all pay higher interest rates now, ie another tax! so true to form

    1. EmbarrassedAmerican says:

      I think we need to remember when this fiasco started and that would be with the Republican Administration under Bush. They are the ones that spent BILLIONS & BILLIONS & BILLIONS of OUR TAX MONEY on his private war in Iraq. MOney that they could not even account for nor justify. So we all need to put blame where it belongs. The current Administration is trying desperately to fix the MULTITUDE OF PROBLEMS caused by the snowball efect from the BUSH ADMINISTRATION but the roadblocks put up by the CHILDISH AND SELFISH ANTICS OF CONGRESS are not helping at all. Congress members have their own little agendas that they are pursuing at the expense of the American People in order to make their LITTLE, INSIGNIFICANT SINGLE MARK in history. Now, COLLECTIVELY, they have made the HUGE MARK of causing the United States to lose their AAA CREDIT RATING. SO, I think we need to THANK CONGRESS for their PETTINESS AND FOR LOOKING OUT FOR THE BEST OF THEIR FRIENDS IN CORPORATE AMERICA.

  5. Mary says:

    I agree with Cathy….State of Maryland workers faced furlough, no COLA’S and many positions were cut. So, it is time for Federal Workforce to face the reality of the current out of control economy. The federal deficit is insane and if programs are going to be cut like Social Security and Medicare…..than weed out the newly hired who have worked two years and less. The government had no business adding to their workforce and we have a 14 trillion dollar deficit.

  6. Mary says:

    I want to also say that when comparing salaries of state workers versus federal workers….the federal workers make way more than that of state workers.

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