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Tuesday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor to underline the devastating impacts of the government shutdown on New Mexico’s economy and middle-class families.
The first-term senator mentioned Los Alamos on a number of occasions.
Here is an excerpt from his speech.
“In New Mexico federal contracts are also critical for our small business community. Defense purchases account for almost two-thirds of total procurement spending. We are home to nearly 27,000 federal workers. Workers who want to go back to work.
“Workers who just want to do their jobs. Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory employ an additional 18,000 New Mexicans as contractors.
“And the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad employs 1,000 more. So it’s an understatement to say that shutting down the federal government strikes at the heart of my state’s economy.
Then Heinrich goes on to mention the town of Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Monitor.
“Last week, because of the shutdown, the National Nuclear Security Administration ordered that Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories to be ready to shut down by October 21.
“Katy Korkos with the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce told the Los Alamos Monitor that the impact of the shutdown at LANL could hit subcontractors in the area twice as hard as other entities because they will never be able to recover the income that they’re losing currently.
“Energy Solutions, a subcontractor that processes and ships transuranic waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad has had to lay off 154 workers; the general manager of a department store in Los Alamos was quoted in the newspaper saying, “Anytime the lab sneezes, we catch cold.”