WAMU 88.5 : News

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Veterans Take Heavy Hit From Sequestration

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It's only the civilian side of the Defense Department that faces furlough days because of sequestration. But many of those civilians are also veterans.

Pentagon remains the largest employer of veterans in the federal government. Now, after getting praised by lawmakers across the country on Memorial Day, these families face a pay cut put in place by those very same lawmakers.

"Rather than them getting paid after the fact, as you did when the government shut down, their pay is going to get docked," says Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. "They're never going to get reimbursed, and for this week they will get a 20 percent pay cut. So it's just starting now, and I fear not just for the lives of those individuals and their families, but also for what it's going to do to economies such as the Washington metropolitan area. It's going to hurt."

In the wake of recent scandals, the Pentagon announced civilian sexual assault prevention workers are exempt from furloughs.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. says other workers being furloughed also play a critical support role for troops.

"These 90,000 civilians... there is the cavalier attitude about them," he says. "These include nurses at Belvoir Community Hospital who are taking care of wounded warriors. These are people doing really important jobs, and there is such a cavalier attitude about it."

Members of both parties continue to cast blame for the sequestration, yet serious negotiations remain stalled because of disagreements on taxes.

WAMU 88.5

A WAMU Guide To The 2015 National Book Festival

Need some help navigating the schedule? We've come up with an agenda that highlights authors we’ve spoken with here at WAMU.

WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner (Rebroadcast)

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. We get an update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How To Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says traffic in the U.S. is worse than it's been in years. But some say there are reasons to be optimistic. For this month's Environmental Outlook: How revitalized urban centers and new modes of transportation are changing how we get around our cities.

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