|Updated: 3/04/2013 3:51 pm
||Published: 3/04/2013 3:50 pm
Congress is facing sweeping cuts because of the budget gridlock in Washington, D.C.
FOX23’s Scott McFarlane learned local senators and house representatives are facing stiff cutbacks in the budgets they use to serve us. In some cases, possible furloughs and reductions are looming, but as McFarlane reports one wrinkle in their plans is sure to cause outrage.
Congressional staffers, the ones who take constituent calls on Capitol Hill and try to help with any issues will have their salaries cut by the year’s end. The salaries of senators and congressmen will not be cut at all.
We've known for months that federal workers would take a beating because of Washington's budget stalemate, but now we've learned even the staffers for congress itself will take a punch.
A memo sent by House administrators says furloughs are possible for U.S. House and Senate staffers.
Our reporting revealed each local member of the U.S. House will likely have to chop about 50 thousand dollars from the budget within just nine months.
Brad Fitch, a longtime house staffer, says behind closed doors Congressional aides are talking about pay cuts, furloughs and reductions in the popular telephone and in-person town hall meetings.
"It's not only possible ... you're going to get a different level service ... it's almost inevitable. you can't make cuts on budgets that are already lean," says Fitch.
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas' spokesman says the congressman has already made cuts to his budget in recent years, including the closing of two of this three Tulsa-area offices.
One u-s senator from California ordered a hiring freeze and travel reductions.
But members of Congress themselves, they won't lose a penny.
The constitution requires Congress must stage a separate vote to raise or lower its pay. Despite months of contingency planning for this budget crisis no pay cut bill was approved.
A number of Congressional leaders told Scott they've been able to pinch pennies and return *unspent* money from their office budgets to the u-s treasury in recent years. But in some cases those savings are smaller than the looming cuts.