Sequestration impact on South Florida

Airport travel, education, and law enforcement to be affected by cuts

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Now that the sequester deadline has come and gone, President Barack Obama has authorized the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts.

Those automatic cuts will have an impact on South Florida.  It will impact everything from airport travel to education, and even law enforcement.

Air travel at South Florida airports could become a bit of a headache as TSA workers will be furloughed at least one day a week.

Overtime at customs will also grind to a halt, meaning longer lines for people trying to get into the country.

Air traffic controllers will also be forced to take an unpaid day.

There's talk of a worst-case scenario come the end of March. Lawmakers will have to hammer out a balanced budget or face a government shutdown, which would only add to the mess.

"These are silly debates. The money is there. The ability to balance the budget is there. The president has stated his willingness to compromise," said Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla.

"I'm hopeful that we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we're dealing with the sequester at the same time. The House will act next week and I hope the Senate will follow suit," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

When it comes to education, the White House says Florida stands to lose some $54 million in funding for primary and secondary education.

On the military side of things, 31,000 civilians, who work for the Defense department, mostly in Jacksonville and Tampa, would be furloughed a single day each week.

When it comes to law enforcement, $970,000 meant for police departments would be lost.

Federal money for state education is being spared for now.

Right now, these cuts are being dragged out with the hopes of some sort of agreement being hammered out in the coming weeks.

South Floridians won't start seeing the effects of the automatic cuts until April.

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