As President Obama met with congressional leaders this morning with no deal in sight to stop sequestration, the travel industry will see the impact of spending cuts, which take effect today. Air travel, an important driver to the economy and jobs, is a main target for sequestration.
"I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve," said Obama in a statement released yesterday by the White House.
Airlines for America (A4A) president and CEO Nicholas Calio had said that the failure of Obama and congressional leaders to reach a deal on sequestration will “urge the Federal Aviation Administration to choose non personnel cuts in its $9.6 billion operating budget to meet the requirements of the sequester, without furloughing federal air traffic controllers. It is important to note that the airlines are not taking sides in what has become a political battle. A4A is on the side of businesses, passengers and shippers—those who pay for the FAA’s budget—and we think Congress and the Administration should be as well.”
Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) also addressed the impact of the sequester cuts on business travel and the country's economy.
"Nothing could be worse for commerce and the nation's economic recovery. Time is short. Elected officials must work together. Rather than blunt cuts with unpredictable ramifications, GBTA supports a return to the regular order of consideration of authorization and appropriations bills in Congress, and a solid smart approach to funding the government for the next seven months. We need a responsible path forward to address the nation's concerns about our growing debt and deficits," McCormick said.
Similarly, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, strongly urged "Congress to take immediate action on the impending federal budget cuts."
Dow questioned the potential impact of expected federal budget cuts on the travel process. He also cited gradual decrease and delays in flights due to the sequestration.
Back in January, Dow urged the industry to "Fasten Your Seat Belt" mentioning that the first three months of 2013 are likely to be a roller coaster of debates over federal spending, the debt limit, entitlement reform, and tax policy.