Airport Sequester Delays Ended, Now What About Everything Else?

BlogHer Original Post

It’s no surprise that after less than a week of inconveniencing air travel delays, Congress has decided to move on one aspect of the sequester budget cuts. Thursday night, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to free up more money for the Federal Aviation Administration. And this morning, the House approved the bill, by a 361-41 vote, to end FAA furloughs and put an end to those airport delays.

Airport, Image Credit: Shutterstock

I can completely relate to what a hassle air travel delays can be. Last weekend, I made a quick trip from the Bay Area to speak at a conference in L.A. My “quick trip” ended up being delayed by over an hour, leaving me stranded at an airport whose services were already closed up for the evening, and not arriving at my hotel until well past midnight.

Was my flight delayed because of sequester budget cuts that resulted in furloughs to air traffic controllers? Or increased security because of the Boston bombings? I don’t know for sure. But I do know that it was an inconvenience. After all, I’m a working mom and my business trips need to be coordinated by clockwork with the schedules of my kids, my husband and my parents.

But as precious as my time is, some folks in Washington may consider theirs even more valuable. Case in point: last month, I found myself on an early Monday morning flight to D.C. The plane was packed with guys in suits who proceeded to push ahead of each other at boarding time – Group A? Of course, I’m Group A! – and before the plane had even come to a complete stop on the tarmac at National Airport, several men stood up to retrieve their briefcases from the overhead compartments. One guy even managed to drop a laptop on the shoulder of a woman sitting in my aisle. And he did not even apologize.

So now that the air traffic delays are solved, the sequester is over, right?

Actually, no.

Like many critics have expressed, air travel delays are just one small part of the problems caused by allowing the sequester to happen. What about cuts to education, law enforcement, military and national parks?

After I finish writing this, I'll have to go pound the pavement, handing out flyers to raise money for my kids' public school, which are already underfunded -- even without this latest round of cuts. And last week, my husband and I woke up extra early to get online and book campsites at Yosemite. That will be our family vacation this summer. But if something isn’t done about sequester budget cuts affecting national parks, we may have to fend off bears and brush fires ourselves.

What about you? Are you relieved by Congress’ action to end airport delays or are you more worried about other effects of the sequester?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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