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Airport Security A Part Of Newest Budget Battle
If you think lines are long at airport security, wait until March. If the budget sequestration goes into effect we could see $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and the Transportation Security Administration would take one of the biggest hits. They stand to lose $1.27 billion.
"(I expect) major delays and I think it's going to jeopardize the security of our flights," says Natalie Runyan, who flies out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport frequently for work.
We talked to the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul about the risk. "That's a real concern of mine, we were told it was never going to happen, I hope it doesn't, but if it does, I would hope that the department would prioritize their cuts so it would not affect the first responder security positions out there," he says.
TSA Administrator John Pistole says they are planning ahead in case the sequestration takes effect. "The key is to keep the front line operators on the job and so we've made cuts in other places so it doesn't affect that in the short term," he says.
As for long term, Pistole says that's a whole other issue, "The longer it goes, the more likelihood that there will be some people who we can't staff at every check point."
By Lydia Pantazes