Benishek on budget sequester

The federal budget sequester is still scheduled to make deep spending cuts this Friday unless congress does something.

And the U.P.’s voice in Congress says he’s frustrated by what’s going on.

Congressman Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls says the House has more budget talks scheduled between now and Friday.

H says he’s hopeful the House will come up with a proposal to change the nature of the budget cuts, but he says he’s frustrated at the Senate.

Benishek says the House passed measures last year to avoid the sequester, but the bill never went any farther than that.

Sawyer International Airport in Marquette County would be affected by the sequester cuts.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said that the FAA would close Sawyer’s air traffic control tower.

Benishek says he doesn’t know exactly what will happen with the tower, and he says he’s not sure at this point that anyone knows.

He says he’s watching the situation closely, and he says he’s disappointed that the FAA would let go of people on the ground while not furloughing one of the agency’s vice-presidents.

Sawyer Airport officials were not able to speak with us on camera.

In the last few days, airport manager Duane DuRay has told several newspapers that Sawyer can safely operate without the tower, at least temporarily.

However, he’s also said that the tower adds an extra level of safety that would not exist otherwise.