FAA, other US government agencies and aerospace companies with defense contracts are bracing for the impact of mandatory federal spending reductions that took effect on Friday.
Although the cuts—known as budget sequestration—have officially started, the main effects of the government spending reductions, such as predicted flight delays at airports, are not expected to be felt until April. The US government’s spending authority for the remainder of the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30 expires on March 27.
Many in Washington DC closely following budget deliberations believe that an agreement to extend the government’s spending authority past March 27 could also address sequestration, at least partially. Top Republicans in Congress said they will work to keep sequestration levels of spending in place for the remainder of the fiscal year, but are open to providing government agencies with more flexibility to manage the cuts. Democrats are pushing to replace some of the sequestration cuts with new tax revenue.
If Congress does not act before March 27, the US government will partially shutdown.
US Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Marion Blakey said in a statement that the March 27 deadline for extending federal spending authority presents “the next major opportunity for Congress and President Obama to halt the [sequestration] crisis that our industry has highlighted for nearly two years.We urge our elected leaders to use this period to put a stop to the damage that sequestration is doing to our country … There is still time to obtain a balanced bipartisan solution to our nation’s debt and deficit problem before the full effects of these drastic budget cuts are felt.”