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Cardin Doesn't Expect Sequestration Deal By March 1

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Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin speaking at the podium at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.
Matt Bush
Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin speaking at the podium at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

If Congress doesn't act in the next three weeks, sequestration will occur, and that could have a devastating effect on the local economy.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin held a question and answer session with federal workers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, where he says sequestration would lead to the loss of 100,000 jobs, combined at both NIH and businesses that work with them.

"This deficit was not caused by our federal workforce," he says. "You're not responsible for that deficit."

When it came to the question part of the session, this query was a popular one: "What's the most effective way that federal employees can protest the sequester?"

Cardin's response?

He encouraged NIH workers to protest sequestration by better detailing what it is they do at the facility to the public.

"Put a face on this," he says. "The reason why the federal workforce is on attack is because it's an attack on government. It's not an attack on what you do. So go out there and say what you do. And how important it is for what you do to have the certainty of a realistic budget."

But Cardin did tell the audience it's "unlikely" that Congress will reach an agreement by March 1, and will likely pass another short-term measure and take up sequestration again later this year.

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