WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is warning that automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1 will result in travel delays at major airports and require traffic-disrupting shutdowns of air traffic control towers at smaller facilities.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the across the board reductions will require trimming $600 million this year form the Federal Aviation Administration. LaHood says that will mean furloughing air traffic controllers, which in turn will reduce the ability to guide planes in and out of airports.
He says travelers could experience 90 minute delays or more in major cities.
The transportation reductions are part of broader, cuts that will hit across government agencies that will begin to kick in at the end of next week.
LaHood’s appearance in the White House briefing room was part of a continuing campaign by Cabinet members and other administration officials aimed at buttressing President Barack Obama’s appeal to Congress to replace the cuts with tax increases and targeted reductions. Congressional Republicans oppose any additional tax increases.
Asked whether it appeared inevitable that the cuts would materialize, press secretary Jay Carney said: “We obviously are discouraged by the line that Republican leaders have taken, which is the book is closed on revenue. … We remain hopeful and we will continue to engage with Congress.”
LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, denied that he was simply describing a worst-case scenario that would scare the public and put pressure on Republican lawmakers. He said the effect of the cuts will begin to be felt around the beginning of April.
“What I’m trying to do is wake up members of the Congress with the idea that they need to come to the table so we don’t have to have this kind of calamity in air services in America,” he said.
LaHood said the main reason the White House had asked him to appear before White House-based reporters was because he is a Republican making the case for Obama with Republican lawmakers.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy