Posted: 10:35 p.m. MST
The Yuma area may be feeling the impact of Congress' latest fiscal fight.
If Congress does not reach a deal by March 1 to avoid a series of massive federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, both Yuma Proving Ground and U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees could be facing a cut back in their hours and their paychecks.
Around the nation, $83 billion in services and jobs are at risk of being cut.
But closer to home, cuts to defense and border security threaten one of Yuma's largest industries and top employers.
The Yuma Proving Ground is the number one civilian employer in Yuma County.
If the sequester takes effect, YPG plans to furlough about 700 civilian employees, according to Chuck wullenjohn with the public affairs office at YPG.
"That would be an impact of about $3.6 million dollars. And that's money that goes into the community. It goes to our local stores, restaurants, to pay taxes--there's an economic impact. That money turns over several times in the community," Wullenjohn said.
There are also about 1,000 other people who work for contractors at YPG whose contracts may have to be adjusted.
"That's going to have a big financial impact, too, because we do a lot of purchasing from businesses in Yuma. There's going to be larger impacts than just salaries," Wullenjohn added.
Border security everywhere would also take a hit.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testified to Congress Feb. 14.
Part of her testimony reads, "CBP would not be able to maintain current staffing levels of border patrol agents and CBP officers...Sequestration would force CBP to immediately begin furloughs of its employees."
News 11 reached out to the Yuma Sector Border Patrol, but they could only refer back us to Napolitano's statement and said they could not comment further.
Over at YPG, furloughs would begin April 25 if sequestration cuts take effect.