Rep. Swalwell Hosts Town Hall in Livermore for National Lab Employees at Risk of Furlough (PHOTOS)

October 14, 2013
Press Release

LIVERMORE, CA – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) on Sunday held a town hall in Livermore to hear from employees of Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, Department of Energy (DOE) labs where 7,500 workers will be furloughed starting on Oct. 18 if the government shutdown continues. Rep. Swalwell assured the more than 200 national lab employees in attendance that he will continue to fight to end the reckless shutdown.

“At my town hall the room was filled with fear and anxiety.  Employees of our national labs are worried that they won’t be able to pay their bills next month if the shutdown continues,” said Swalwell. “Our national lab and federal government workers should not suffer because the Tea Party decided to hold the economy hostage and force furloughs. Not only will the labs’ cutting-edge scientific research be put on hold during a furlough period, our national labs could face an irreparable brain drain as our bright young scientists opt for the private sector.”

Swalwell led a bicameral, bipartisan letter to DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz requesting he assure furloughed national lab workers that they will receive back pay when the shutdown ends. National lab employees are contractors. The House of Representatives has already taken action to provide back pay to federal workers who are furloughed due to the shutdown.

Swalwell also organized an hour-long discussion on the House Floor on Friday about the important work at Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories and ending the government shutdown.

“I will continue to work every second to avoid these furloughs and keep our brilliant lab employees advancing the cause of science,” added Swalwell.

Hi-res photos available upon request