Cardin warns of federal layoffs if Congress remains divided over budget

WOODLAWN, Md - It is perhaps the one federal agency that reaches the most people on a daily basis.

Every day 62 thousand people nationwide process benefits, take applications and find help for people who need it.

About a third of all the Social Security Administration employees are right here in Woodlawn.

And they're worried.

"The question on all of our minds here if furloughs affect the SSA how soon would be we notified that we would have to go out on furlough." One SSA Employee asked in the middle of the meeting.

If a lot of these people wind up at home instead of at work according to the President, the people who make sure benefits are paid to the right people would be cut first.

There would also be a reduction in service hours to the public and a slowdown in processing of disability benefits.

At this town hall meeting Senator Ben Cardin says a lot of Americans would lose.

"If sequestration take effect it would be very damaging to our economy economist say it would slow down our economic recovery what we need to do is create more jobs this would cost us jobs."

Cardin told the packed auditorium.

The folks at Social Security say they actually make money for the government since they have recovered tens of millions of dollars but that would be the the first department to go.

They don't get it.

At this point they're just hoping that congress can get things done

"I have a better understanding now I thought what he had to say was very good and at a good time for us everybody is worried about it." SSA Employee Chineso Howard says.

"I heard here at SSA that people worried about doing their basic mission they have a lot of pride in the work that they do they're worried that their work won't get done, that's been their primary concern yes, they are also worried about the uncertainty they need a paycheck they have a family to deal with they got bills they got to pay will they be getting their full pay check." Cardin says.

Nothing will probably happen that first week.

But as the budget battle drags out a lot of your neighbors will have some unwanted idle time as they get furloughed.

So if you need help from Uncle Sam, he'll get there it will take a very long time.

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