"House Republicans could have stopped the sequester by closing tax breaks for millionaires and corporate special interests, but they refused to compromise - and now the defense workers of West Virginia are facing a cut in their pay," the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement released last week.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama and GOP leaders were unable to compromise on a solution to avert the sequester.
Obama wanted Republicans to approve a plan that would have cut spending while also raising revenue by closing tax loopholes and subsidies and raising taxes on wealthy individuals.
Republicans in the House of Representatives approved two alternatives that dealt with spending but did not raise additional revenue.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., criticized the DCCC for using the furloughs for political purposes.
"It's sad that Washington Democrats are playing politics with West Virginia jobs," spokeswoman Lisa Boothe said.
Boothe said Capito "is very concerned about the families who will be affected by the sequester" and said that was why she supported House GOP attempts to avert it.
"Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats refused to act," Boothe said.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Congress should have taken a balanced approach, like the one offered by the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission, to avert the sequester.
"It is discouraging and shameful that Congress cannot work in a bipartisan manner to reach a long-term compromise to get our fiscal house in order," Manchin said in a statement.
A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Manchin called the sequester cuts "draconian."
"We cannot sacrifice our national security because Congress cannot work toward solving our nation's financial problems," he said.
The West Virginia National Guard is working with Workforce West Virginia to assist affected employees.
"We're looking at every opportunity we have to try to assist these people because this is a large chunk of their pay," Hoyer said.
He hopes the situation causes leaders in Washington to take a hard look at the country's budget priorities and make longer-term plans to make sure it does not happen again.
"People are going to suffer - people who go the extra mile to defend this country are going to suffer," Hoyer said.
"It's just not a good way to do business."
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.
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