Early reports suggest sequestration isn't having as big of an impact on the region as anticipated, but this week some workers start taking their first furlough days. As a result, some say they are cutting back on holiday travel. Another problem facing people in the region: federal hiring freezes.
"I don't know, we're really starting to panic now," says Joe Adkins. He moved to Maryland with his wife because he was approved for a government job.
The veteran has been accepted at both the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency and with the Border Patrol. But hiring freezes at both agencies are keeping him in limbo. Adkins says he and his wife are pinching pennies.
"Once in a while we'll go see a rare movie simply because we can get discounted movie tickets through the military," he says.
Adkins has a message for Congress: "Focus on the real problems and issues instead of taglines that are more likely to get them reelected."
Northern Virginia Democrat Rep. Jim Moran says it's time to unwind the indiscriminate budget cuts called sequestration.
"We're using it as an excuse to punish federal employees, to shrink the size of the government, and to deregulate it," says Moran.
Adkins says he just wants certainty.
"It would be nice to feel that I was financially stable and not living paycheck to paycheck, which is definitely the case now," he says.
Lawmakers have put negotiations over sequestration on hold for the summer, even as the cuts start to have a more tangible impact nationwide.
Matt's story was informed by WAMU's Public Insight Network. It's a way for people to share their stories with us and for us to reach out for input on upcoming stories. For more information, click this link.