The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 2, 2013

Public might feel impact of sequester as furloughs hit public services

(Continued)

President Barack Obama has recently appeared with front-line workers to make the case that cuts will be disruptive to critical services. Republicans have called the predictions of dire services cuts so much hype.

About 71 percent of the Federal Aviation Administration budget covers salaries for controllers and safety inspectors. Furloughs could mean closed airport towers and flight delays, officials have said.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., ranking member of the committee that oversees the FAA, isn't convinced. "We take issue with the fact that this has to be an all-or-nothing proposition," he said.

Another advocate of smaller government, Chris Edwards, a budget expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, said, "I don't think there's any dispute about the furloughs."

His solution to diminished services? Let private companies or state and local governments provide them. "Let's untether these life-or-death services from the uncertainty of federal budgeting," he said.

The Transportation Security Administration, which must save about $398 million, could furlough 50,000 employees for as many as seven days and cut overtime, Director John Pistole said this week. The longer the cuts drag on, the longer the airport lines, he said.

The high-turnover agency also will not be able to backfill most jobs. Some officials have estimated that the equivalent of 7,200 of 45,000 jobs would disappear under the cuts. A third of the workforce are part-timers.

About 300 officers shepherd passengers through security lines at Pittsburgh International and five smaller airports nearby. Three 24-hour shifts start at 4 a.m. Pittsburgh has two checkpoints with 10 security lanes, and anywhere from 50 to 70 officers to staff them, according to union officials.

"We're running good if all 10 lanes are open," said Kimberly Kraynak-Lambert, president of the American Federation of Government Workers Local 332 in Pittsburgh.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video