Sequester-related flight delays began Sunday, and Republicans are blaming the White House for letting the Federal Aviation Administration furlough air traffic controllers, resulting in flight delays.
#ObamaFlightDelays Because the FAA chose not to reduce costs elsewhere.
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) April 22, 2013
Using the hashtag #ObamaFlightDelays, the Republican National Committee is encouraging anyone facing a delay to call the White House.
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said in a statement that "the Administration has made choices that appear designed to have the greatest possible impact on the traveling public."
Republicans in Congress objected to the furlough plan when it was presented last week, and they have argued that the White House should have planned for the cuts earlier.
White House spokesman Jay Carney countered that furloughs were inevitable because 71 percent of the FAA's budget comes from personnel.
"This is a result of sequester that is never meant to be law," Carney told reporters. "These furloughs, that's the unfortunate fact of arbitrary, across-the-board cuts like this."
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote that "dumb cuts like these are why I voted against sequester in first place."
Lawmakers in both parties helped turn the sequester into law. The cuts were meant to be so draconian that Congress would be forced to come up with an agreement to replace them. That never happened. The White House has been caught between its desire to create momentum for a solution by highlighting the pain of the sequester and trying to avoid blame for unpopular cuts.
The Post's Fact Checker looked into the competing FAA claims and found that although more information might bolster the GOP case, "across-the-board cuts required by the sequester appear to leave little wiggle room."
The furloughs are estimated to achieve $200 million in savings.