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Cuts mean 'perfect storm' of airport delays: White House

Published on Feb 26, 2013 6:14 AM
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet A. Napolitano speaks during a daily press briefing a the White House February 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. Napolitano spoke about the effects of the sequester, which goes into effect this Friday, will have on the Department of Homeland Security. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Obama administration warned on Monday of a "perfect storm" of airport delays and less secure US borders when huge spending cuts hit this week, but a top Republican slammed White House "scare" tactics.

Political acrimony escalated another notch ahead of US$85 billion (S$105.3 billion) of cuts, known as the sequester, due to slam the government on March 1, but there was no sign of any effort by Democrats or Republicans to break the impasse.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned of the consequences of the cuts, as she became the latest cabinet official enrolled in a countrywide White House media blitz intended to pile blame on Republicans.

"At the major international airports, we will be limited in accepting new international flights, and average wait times to clear customs will increase by as much as 50 per cent," Ms Napolitano said.

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