UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) - Federal workers here in our area are bracing for a major cut in their paychecks.
Furlough notices are expected to go out on Friday, and weekly forced days off without pay could begin as early as April.
WUSA9 found one local family which has a few extra worries concerning furloughs and pay cuts.
Alphonso and Lena Pendergrass of Upper Marlboro are expecting their first child on March 17th. They've already picked a name for the baby boy, Chase Cooper Pendergrass. And, they are building a new house in Waldorf, Maryland.
Their current house is worth less than they owe, so they plan to rent it. But despite their careful planning, they see a curve ball coming. Al is expecting to be furloughed at least one day a week.
"Two days out of each pay period for me equates to about $640. Then, of course, you can times that by 26 pay periods and then, if it goes for a year, we're talking $17,000 at least.
Al Pendergrass is an aviation maintenance officer for the Department of Defense and he works at Fort McNair. He retired from the Army after a 32-year career. He's the sole breadwinner for the family, and Lena is planning to stay home with the baby, though she says she may have to go back to work sooner than she wanted to.
"The only positive thing I can see from this is that Al will get to spend more time with the baby," said Lena.
Al says if he had known sooner that his pay would be cut, he would have held off on buying the new house. But now that they've put down a large non-refundable deposit, they're committed to the new home.
"It's very scary for us. We have plans to do a vacation next year. We're just going to have to tighten up quite a bit, maybe not take that vacation. Maybe not go out and have a little fun like we used to. It's a huge chunk of change out of our pockets," Al said.
He says he'd much rather have a job and be laid off a couple days than to not have one at all.
"There's not a thing I can do about it. I can't go over and fire all the politicians and put somebody in that's going to run the country right. So, we're stuck with what we got," he said.