I am an attorney for the Department of Justice, and I am greatly concerned about the possible furlough of federal employees. I have been working for the department for more than a year and have enjoyed my tenure and experience. However, I cannot afford to have my salary reduced by the proposed 10 percent to 25 percent. I find it ironic that Congress granted itself a pay raise and yet continue to debate a possible pay raise for professionals in federal employment. Attorneys in Congress acted on behalf of their own salaries. However, they neglect to adequately compensate those attorneys who also serve their country.

I take a great deal of pride in working for the Justice Department. However, pride does not pay my student loans or my car payment. I realized when I accepted my position with the government that I would not be making as much money as my contemporaries, but I consoled myself with the fact that I was giving something back to my country. If the proposed furlough is carried out, I too will enter the private sector. It is a shame that the federal justice system will suffer because Congress and the president cannot negotiate a workable budget.