MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Government's inaction is forcing billions of dollars in federal cuts to go into effect. Sequestration cuts began March 1, with mandatory cuts from every government agency.
The airport is just one area citizens will feel the pain. The federal cuts mean TSA will initiate a hiring freeze, furlough all officers for up to seven days and, over time, eliminate positions. For passengers that means longer wait times through security check points.
Traveler Jim Young says, "I'm disappointed, I wish they spent our money more responsibly, if we have to stand in line another five minutes, yeah, it's going to be frustrating."
In addition to TSA, the FAA will be forced to cut more than $600 million. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says that will directly affect the city's biggest business, FedEx.
"With respect to the air control operations, that really troubles me because FedEx has to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." Wharton says, "I'm hearing it may affect the equipment repair in some of the control towers."
The Mayor's biggest concern is the children. Preschoolers may have to stay home. If cuts go into effect 1,200 children from low income families in Tennessee will not be able to enroll in preschool and daycare centers run by Head Start; also affecting 600 children in Arkansas and 1,600 in Mississippi. Wharton says, "There's no question about it, it will have an impact on us."
The President addressed the nation Friday, asking Congress to come to its senses and compromise. "We will get through this," he says, "This is not going to be an apocalypse, it's just dumb and it's going to hurt."
Republicans say Democrats aren't coming to the table with viable options, Democrats say Republicans are unwilling to compromise. The cuts will remain until a compromise is reached.