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Federal budget reductions set to take effect Friday could fall like a meat ax on the small Iowa town of Columbus Junction, where a Tyson Foods hog processing plant dominates the economy.
The White House is warning that 6,300 meat and poultry plants could be forced to temporarily suspend production because the cuts may require U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors to be furloughed for 15 days.
The impact would hit meatpacking towns such as Columbus Junction, which has long been driven by the business of turning Iowa's nation-leading hog population into food.
Grocery store owner Griceli Amigon says 95 percent of her customers work at Tyson, and they'd have no money to spend during a furlough.
Mayor Daniel Wilson says he believes the warning is "political posturing" that won't happen.