HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - After three weeks of sequestration, furloughs for Department of Defense employees are delayed while the Pentagon analyzes how a recent continuing resolution will affect the DOD.
Redstone Arsenal provides employment to thousands, many of them civilian contractors, and the national debt crisis puts those jobs in jeopardy. The uncertainty about the national budget affects people all over the nation, but especially those in North Alabama because the Arsenal is one of the area's primary employers.
The Senate passed a continuing resolution Wednesday that will fund the government through September and the House passed the resolution Thursday, but Mayor Tommy Battle says that does little comfort to thousands in the area.
"The continuing resolutions have everybody up in the air, they have our business's hands tied, they don't know what to expect out of the federal government," battle said Thursday afternoon. "We would love to see Congress come through now, come through with a real budget."
But that's the problem-congress hasn't passed a budget in years. The debate about how to reduce the national debt has the two sides of Congress in something of a stalemate. While one group wants to lower taxes on business owners, the other side argues that increasing stimulus spending will spur the economy. The two houses couldn't agree back in 2011, so the crisis began. Continuing resolutions are passed every few months and the debt ceiling is periodically raised, but three years later Congress has still not reached a compromise and we continue this dance with debt. Battle says until a real budget is passed there will be uncertainty in the economy.
"We push the budget battle down for another couple of months and then we are going to have another budget battle when the continuing resolution comes to an end. It's time to end all that and it's time for Congress to come together and pass a budget."