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Congress Misses Sequestration Deadline

Across-the-Board Cuts Will Directly Impact Travel and Tourism Industry Reports AH&LA

March 1, 2013 - As a result of Congress missing today’s sequestration deadline, a series of large automatic spending cuts are set to take place for federal programs. Over the next nine years, a total of $1.2 trillion in cuts will take place - with $85 billion in automatic spending cuts occurring by the end of this fiscal year.  

The lodging industry brought a group of senior executives to Washington, D.C. on February 14 to speak with the White House and Congressional leadership about the impact sequestration would have on our industry.  AH&LA’s Legislative Action Summit (LAS), set for April 23-24, will provide another key opportunity to demonstrate that while lodging has led the economic recovery with 12 straight quarters of growth, indiscriminate cuts to federal programs threaten to derail this progress.    

Cuts will have wide ranging affects, particularly relating to the travel industry:
  • Government travel will likely be the first item cut as federal agencies seek to reduce budgets. Hotels can expect to see meetings postponed, travel bookings shortened, and government planners delaying contract signings as they await a congressional solution.  
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates it will have to furlough the majority of its 47,000 employees, forcing the nation's busiest airports to close runways and eliminate certain shifts for control towers. This will result in widespread flight delays and cancellations.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently stated that the sequestration-prompted furloughs for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will “substantially increase passenger wait times at airport security checkpoints.”
  • National parks will be closed. The impacts of this step have been seen before, during the previous government shutdown in 1995, as the National Park Service shuttered 368 sites, turning away 7 million visitors, while national monuments and museums were closed to another 2 million visitors.
  • The Department of Homeland Security estimates it will have to furlough 5,000 border patrol agents.
Status:
Yesterday, the Senate introduced two test votes to avert sequestration, only to see each fall short.  President Barack Obama will meet today with House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to discuss ways to limit the impact of sequestration on federal programs.

Further Action:
HotelPAC is the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s political action committee and is the cornerstone of our legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. It is a voluntary, bi-partisan PAC formed to help elect federal candidates who support the lodging industry.  For more information or to learn more about what is going on with HotelPAC please contact Anne-Wesley Teague at 202.289.3125 or awteague@ahla.com

About the AH&LA
Serving the hospitality industry for a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

For more about AH&LA, visit www.ahla.com
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Contact:

Anne-Wesley Teague
202.289.3125
awteague@ahla.com

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