U.S. military officials say the Defense Department leaders trying to find ways to deal with mandatory budget cuts are poised to trim the number of civilian furlough days from 14 to at least 11 and allow the military to exempt thousands of additional workers from the unpaid day off requirements.
Congress easily approved legislation Friday ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily, infuriating travelers and causing political headaches for lawmakers.
Commercial airline flights moved smoothly throughout most of the country on Sunday, but experts say the first real test is Monday when traffic increases amid furloughs of air traffic controllers resulting from government spending cuts.
Hundreds of illegal immigrants have been released by the Obama administration due to budget pressures. Officials have also scaled back border agent hours, drug patrols and staffing at border crossings — all during the peak illegal border-crossing season.
After years of little activity, Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing is now flying high, as the commercial carrier Frontier Airlines continues to expand operations and offer travelers more flights to different cities.
Republicans say they welcome President Barack Obama's courtship and suggest the fresh engagement between the White House and Congress may finally yield solutions to the stubborn budget battle that could cost Americans jobs.
Republicans controlling the House are moving to give the Pentagon more money for military readiness. They also want to largely exempt agencies like the FBI and the Border Patrol as well as Western firefighting efforts from the effects of across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International and O'Hare International in Chicago, are already experiencing delays as a result of automatic federal spending cuts.
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