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Government furloughs begin today

Today was the first day of furloughs for federal workers.
Overall, 650,000 civilian workers will have to take eleven days off without pay between now and September.

The furloughs are required by the sequestration budget cuts.
That amounts to losing 20-percent of their income for the next three months.
Those furloughs will affect around 9,000 people who work at military bases in our area, but many of them say the cuts aren't just hurting their pocketbooks, it hurts morale.

"I've served 37 years in my career to the government, I feel like I was thrown under the bus, sacrificial lamb."

Rocky Tasse is more or less twiddling his thumbs today.
Furloughs began and civilian employees are required to take one day off a week.  Tasse chose today.

"Impacts everybody, that's groceries, money we spend in the community, kids in school flex the schedule."

He works as a nurse on Eglin Air Force Base and is also the union president for civilian employees.
He says people are more than frustrated. Melissa Parker already has to work two jobs just to keep up.

Melissa Parker, works at NAS Pensacola: "I can't afford it! I already have to  work a second job but I had to explain to my kid why I'm pullin' her out of day care and she's cryin'. Um, she doesn't understand so it makes me it angers me."

Although the cuts are tough for the civilian workforce.   Tasse feels the overall impact on the mission will be minimal at this point but not if the cuts continue.

"We are the backbone, we are foundation of this base, without civilian workforce it doesn't fly.   For them to throw us under the bus electively like this.   When we make this equipment, we design bombs, get aircraft to fly."

In the next few days Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to provide more details on how the next wave of automatic cuts will affect the department.