U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow has followed the lead of House Democrats and President Obama in objecting to the $85 billion cut in federal government spending due to take effect March 1.
The Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Customs & Border Protection will be among the federal agencies facing furloughs if the cuts happen, according to a report by Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee
The result would be an increase in airport delays and lost revenue for travel suppliers, according to the report.
“FAA will be required to cut its operational activities by nearly $483 million. As a consequence, all FAA employees will be furloughed for 11 days. As much as 10% of FAA’s workforce of 40,000 would be ‘on furlough’ on any given day, resulting in reduced air traffic control, longer delays, and economic losses for air transportation, tourism and the economy as a whole,” the report said.
Dow said, “Travel has the very real potential of becoming the face of the March 1 sequester cuts. These across-the-board cuts may punish travelers with flight delays, long security lines at Transportation Security Agency checkpoints and multi-hour waits to clear Customs & Border Protection.”
U.S. Travel is encouraging travelers to voice their displeasure with spending cuts, launching a mobile messaging campaign.
“When travelers text the word ‘DELAYED’ to 877-877, they will receive easy instructions on how to share their opinions with Washington legislators,” U.S. Travel said.
The $85 billion in spending cuts to the 2013 budget were part the 2011 deal to raise the federal government’s debt limit. Half of the cuts will be to defense spending, the other half to domestic discretionary spending.
In prepared remarks about the cuts
, President Obama said, "The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can't do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter."
The $85 billion cut would reduce the federal government’s $3.8 trillion 2013 budget by about 2%.