PolitiFact rates sequester air travel delay warnings 'mostly true'

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"Sequestration does not allow federal agencies to shift money between departments -- say delaying an equipment order to keep pay air traffic controllers," the website wrote on Wednesday, though it added that agencies "can still prioritize under their reduced budget, cutting more deeply in administrative staff or contracting staff."

The FAA stands to have to cut $600 million from its 2013 budget if Congress does not reach a deal to avert the sequester by Friday.

PolitiFact acknowledged that Republicans also have a point when they mention that the Obama administration is playing up the possible outcomes of those cuts for dramatic effect.

"In many cases, the warnings from the Obama administration are portraying worst-case scenarios," the website wrote. "That’s the case with air travel, too."

However, PolitiFact said its examination found it was possible for sequestration to cause flight delays at major U.S. airports.

"Experts we interviewed said the Obama administration has a fair amount of leeway to reduce the impact on some travelers," the website's examination continued. "That said, the FAA has made clear that air traffic controllers consume so much of the agency’s budget that some will have to be taken off the job, and that will diminish the functioning of the nation’s airports."

The conclusion of the website's examination of the dust up over the impact of sequestration by commercial airline passengers is that the Obama administration's contentions have been "mostly true."