Gov. Deal Says Sequester May Not Cause As Much Pain as Some Predict

Mar 4, 2013

Less than a week since across the board federal spending cuts known as the sequester started, Governor Nathan deal says the negative effects on Georgia and the rest of the nation may be overblown. 

On Monday morning Governor Deal told reporters the sequester will have some effect on the state, but in general Deal says there may not be as much pain as the White House predicts.

“I think perhaps there’s been more hype about the negative aspects of it than may turn out to be the actual case.”

But Deal is concerned about what the sequester will mean for the state’s military contractors.

“The problem I think we have in Georgia is that we are a state that has a number of military installations and civilian contractors who do contract work for the defense establishment.”

The governor also addressed concerns about the potential for long security wait times at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

He says the Transportation Security Administration and every other facet of the federal government should prioritize spending.

“It would seem to me that prioritization of moving people through our airports would have a pretty high priority, so I see sequestration as not just being allowed to say these are the effects and we just do business as usual. I think it requires federal agencies to do what states do in hard economic times, that is decide where you get the most bang for your buck.”

Officials say that operations at Hartsfield-Jackson are going smoothly so far.

According to Reuters Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said during breakfast Monday the sequester is already affecting wait times at several airports including Hartsfield-Jackson. But Hartsfield-Jackson Aviation General Manager Louis Miller says security wait times have yet to see significant increases.

“Right now it’s going very smoothly and things going well, from the FAA perspective in the air traffic control tower, TSA with security screening, and with Customs and Border Protection for customs clearance coming back.”

Miller says if Congress doesn’t address the across the board cuts in the next month it could mean increased security wait times, flight delays and trip cancelations at Hartsfield-Jackson and throughout the nation.