Skip to comments.TSA Sequester Doomsday Scenario Not Likely
Posted on 02/27/2013 6:52:55 AM PST by SeekAndFind
One of the most talked about doomsday scenarios the Obama administration has warned will occur if sequestration takes effect on March 1, as it is very likely to do, has been the prospect of longer wait times at the nation’s airports.
“It’s going to be very painful for the flying public,” transportation secretary Ray LaHood said last week. “Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco and others could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours because we have fewer controllers on staff.”
But as even LaHood acknowledged, the flying public is unlikely to feel those effect for at least a month. “They’ll begin to see the activity in the layoffs and the delays probably beginning around April 1,” he said.
That is because federal agencies must provide 30-days notice to employees before implementing major changes to their work schedules. As a result, there is a good chance that the threatened chaos at the nation’s airports will never happen.
Often overlooked in the discussions about the sequester is the upcoming expiration (at the end of March) of the continuing resolution funding the government. Just as most people on Capitol Hill expect the sequester to take effect on March 1, they also expect that any agreement to extend government funding via a new continuing resolution will replace the sequester, or at the very least give federal agencies more flexibility to carry out the spending reductions, and mitigate the severity of their impact.
Of course, there may not be such an agreement on a new continuing resolution, in which case the government will proceed to partially shut down.
In any event, the two agencies responsible for keeping the country’s airports up and running — the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — appear relatively well-positioned to absorb some budget reductions.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for example, would be funded well above its inflation-adjusted 2008 level even if the sequester were to take place. “TSA employs a lot of part-time workers, so they should be much more flexible on meeting demands, and moving schedules around,” one travel-industry insider told National Review Online.
Even under sequestration, the TSA (inflation-adjusted) budget is projected to be more than $500 million (11 percent) higher than it was in 2008. The FAA’s inflation-adjusted budget for operations, facilities, and equipment would, under sequestration, still be about $500 million higher than it was in 2008.
A September 2012 report from the House Committee on Homeland Security took the TSA to task for its “counterintuitive hiring practices during an economic downturn,” which has resulted in a “net decrease in the number of people traveling each year in the U.S.”
“A private sector entity in the face of a shrinking customer base usually must downsize,” the report states. “TSA, by contrast, has continually grown its ranks despite fewer travelers, an economic downturn, and purchasing expensive new screening technology.”
Unless Obama decides to shut them down on purpose to make his point.
Longer wait times at the nation’s airports?
Hey, copping feels on old ladies takes time.
Bingo! Obama is managing this to cause maximum disruption and pain, and it won't be just TSA. He will cause problems throughout the economy so he can blame it on the evil Republicans.
But it will take a lot less time for public to feel an airport shutdown, even if they don't fly. Air cargo is HUGE business which transports a significant amount of life saving medical supplies, car parts and even perishable food and flowers, just to name a few.
Congress could take the opportunity to defund the TSA rent-a-cops and replace them with private contractors or even grant the individual airports the right to do so in order to save money and reopen airport operations.
Yeah, I know. We're talking about spineless RINO leadership. But I can dream, can't I?
It’s a cinch that from now on every time the federal government screws up they’ll blame it on the “draconian” budget cuts. I’ll bet they use that excuse for the next ten years at least.
The Obama Presidency - Making Life Suck in America since 2009
What a great leader. All of this sequestration talk reminds me of local school levy fear-mongering on a National level.
It’s insulting for the politicians and their lemmings to imply that those of us not on furlough are incapable of holding down the fort in the absense of our furloughed bretheren.
Give us a little credit.
What difference, at this late date, does it make?
Good analogy that applies to a whole host of government over reach (gun control/healthcare/environmentalism, etc, etc,...ad nauseum.
RE: What difference, at this late date, does it make?
Is this the new slogan to use now?
Is the TSA unionized?
If so, then you bet, baraq could put out the call for them to go on strike.