With the clock ticking on negotiations and thousands of Oak Ridge jobs at stake, a union leader and nonprofit volunteers on Tuesday urged Congress to reopen the federal government, now shut down for more than two weeks.
If Congress can’t settle its budget disputes by Monday, roughly 3,600 workers at the Y-12 National Security Complex could be furloughed, said Steve Jones, president of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council. Thursday would be their last day at work.
The high-stakes negotiations between Democrats and Republicans continued Tuesday, with the U.S. Senate moving toward a deal, just two days ahead of a possible default on the nation’s debt. But it remained unclear whether the House of Representatives, particularly its conservative Republican members, would support the deal by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
Jones said Y-12 will go into a “safe and secure” shutdown mode starting Thursday if Congress hasn’t passed a budget for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. [Read more…]