After months of drama, frequent fliers are feeling the impact of across the board sequester cuts. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s furloughs officially began on Sunday, resulting in delays at some terminals across the country. The FAA claims it had no choice but to put 15,000 workers on unpaid furloughs through October, which means 10% fewer working each day, and they are not entirely wrong. “This is a direct consequence of what the sequester law that was enacted in 1985 and was wielded in 2011 requires,” Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman says. “Every department, every agency, every program every spending program within every agency and every program has to cut by the same amount. That’s what the law says.”
With frustrations mounting among passengers and the air traffic controllers, Washington is playing the blame game. The White House says the furloughs were unavoidable under the mandatory FAA budget cuts. While the Republicans are blaming President Obama. Republicans are even tweeting about the current situation using the hashtag, #Obamaflightdelays, to try and spur the debate.
The sequester “is a pox on both the houses and presidency,” Fineman says. “There is blame to go all around. I think the overall political effect is to sour people even further on Washington. To invocate the notion that Washington is the place where change goes to die, where results never happen, where deals are never cut. And I think ultimately both the Republican leadership and the president suffer as a result.”