US Rep calls budget cuts 'unfortunate'

North Perry General Aviation Airport faces cuts during sequestration

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia called the automatic budget cuts taking place March 1 "unfortunate."

"It's why people have this anger about Congress," he said. "This is basic running of the government and we are running our government through crisis."

The cuts will affect several airports in South Florida.

Air traffic controllers at smaller airports like North Perry General Aviation Airport in Pembroke Pines will be affected by the cuts. Other federal employees could see a 10 to 20 percent pay cut or furlough days.

"The way they operate is in a tight space. There's one after another, one after another, so when I go with the small airplanes way slower and I get in the way of an airplane that's going 200 knots, then they're going to want to get me out of the way," said Ricardo Girado with North Perry General Aviation Airport. "We can't train in a busy airport. We have to train here. And if they want to cut our air traffic control services, that's going to stop a lot of people from learning how to fly."

The Federal Aviation Administration says it will furlough 47,000 employees and close 100 air traffic control facilities.

Transportation Security Administration says customs employees will begin taking furlough days in April.

George Chin with Miami International Airport said to expect longer lines at customs.

"Any businesses has places that could be cut and should be cut and I don't think there are children and families going to be out on the street," said Alan Compton, adding he believes the government should be run like any other business.

If Congress fails to come up with an alternative plan by Friday's deadline, the federal government will be forced to slash its budget by $1.2 trillion over the next decade with $85 billion being cut in the next seven months alone.

Cuts would affect elderly care, health care, and education throughout Florida.

READ: Where you'll feel forced spending cuts

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