KVUE News Austin
Posted on February 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM
AUSTIN, Texas -- Congress is back in session Monday morning with only five days to figure out how to keep forced spending cuts known as the "sequester" from taking effect.
The cuts won't come all at once, but as many as 2.1 million federal workers could face furloughs, including employees at the FAA and TSA.
One prediction shows airport travelers could see wait times at security checkpoints stretch out to 90 minutes.
The Federal Aviation Administration would lose more than $600 million if a deal fails. Those cuts would force employees to take a temporary, unpaid leave of absence each pay period. It would directly impact air traffic control meaning slower times in major cities.
The Transportation Security Administration would also cut its workforce down. First the TSA would enact a hiring freeze in March. Following the freeze the TSA would enforce furloughs for employees for up to seven days. Travelers will feel those cuts in security checkpoint lines.
For now the finger-pointing continues on both sides.
“House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the President's sequester. So the question is: why won't he work with us?” said Senator John Hoeven, R-ND.
“Hope springs eternal,” Obama said. “I will just keep making my case not only to Congress but also the American people.”
In Texas schools will also take a hit. Primary and secondary education programs would lose nearly $68 million in funding. The Head Start Program would also get eliminated and financial aid for students who need help paying for college would diminish.
The Army, Air Force and Navy in Texas would also take a hit. About 52,000 employees would face furlough.
The state’s public health sector would lose money as well in both general funds and grants.
The talks will continue. The deadline hits March 1.