Updated 02/23/2013 12:45 PM
Travelers might face major delays at airports if sequester happens
The White House and Congress moved one day closer to those massive forced budget cuts that start going into effect one week from Friday. If forced budget cuts to go into effect March first. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns that there could be major delays at airports. Our Madeleine Rivera filed the following report.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Flying isn't always so easy, and if you're traveling with kids, well, a delay could be problematic.
"If you're stuck waiting in line for an hour and a half, and someone has to go to the bathroom or something like that, it makes it really inconvenient," said Mike Collins, a traveler from Fort Lauderdale.
But, this is the reality that Collins might face, if a plan to avoid the sequester doesn't take off.
"It's a very bad thing and should be avoided at all costs," said New York senator, Charles Schumer.
Unless Congress acts, the Obama administration has to impose $85 billion of spending cuts on March 1. Military and domestic programs could be cut. Government workers, like airport security screeners and customs agents, could be affected too. They'd be subject to furloughs, unpaid days off. The sequester, which was delayed by New Year's Eve fiscal cliff deal, was meant to be so drastic that negotiators believed it would never happen.
"It's self inflicted pain that we keep inducing because of an unwillingness to get the job done," said Congressman Paul Tonko.
The clock is ticking for politicians to solve the gridlock in Washington. Otherwise, travelers like Alex Ivanov will bear some of the consequences. As a member of the USA bobsled and skeleton team, flying is part of the job, and a delay could be a real setback.
"Longer lines, we kind of get screwed over with that, we have short connections, and we really have about a day or so to travel between destinations. And usually, it's out of the country or across the country," said Ivanov.
But, there are others who say they won't be bothered by longer lines.
"I'm fine with waiting. You just have to plan," said Lisa Hill, another traveler.