Congressman Joe Wilson, R-S.C., will hold a town hall meeting in Aiken today, looking to address the recent concerns of furloughs due to sequestration at the Savannah River Site.
Wilson will be at the USC Aiken Convocation Center on Robert M. Bell Parkway answering questions and making remarks from 10 to 11 a.m.
“From day one, I have been opposed to sequestration because I knew the disastrous effects it would have on our economy and our national security,” Wilson said Thursday. “The recent budget shortfalls that are forcing furloughs at the Savannah River Site are a direct result of inaction by the president and his Office of Management and Budget. For well over a month, I have been proactive on behalf of my constituents to encourage the quick consideration of the reprogramming request. Unfortunately, due to inaction, thousands of jobs are at risk of furlough at the Savannah River Site and vital national security missions have been placed on the backburner.”
The town hall comes on the back of Wilson, along with Congressmen Tom Rice and Jeff Duncan, joining in the sending of a letter to the Office of Management and Budget again asking that it expedite the request for funds.
“On April 1, 2013, more than 2,500 dedicated workers began working 32-hour weeks as a result of inaction regarding this reprogramming request,” the letter reads.
The exact amount of funds being reprogrammed is kept secret; although, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said earlier this year that the amount was $80 million. Wilson’s office has repeatedly asked for the amount, but has not had his requests fulfilled.
“As we inch closer to its full implementation, it is my responsibility as a member of Congress to do my best to advocate for those who may be affected,” Wilson said. “As a result, I have invited constituents to attend a town hall meeting where we will provide a brief overview of current efforts being taken to combat the furloughs and provide information to the SRS community about what can be done to protect the Site’s vital mission.”
• Mike Gellatly covers the Savannah River Site and Courts for the Aiken Standard. The oversized Scot has 13 years of experience in Aiken County, first coming to the United States for a summer job at Camp Gravatt while attending the University of Stirling in his homeland. He now has two (American) children from a marriage that started at that Episcopal church camp.