Tennessee Braces For Impact Of Sequestration - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Braces For Impact Of Sequestration

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With just hours left until $85 billion in spending cuts officially take effect, Tennesseans have begun bracing for the impact.

The list of cuts across the state is lengthy, and will add up to millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. For example, more than 8,000 civilians at Fort Campbell could face mandatory furlough days. 

The FAA's budget cuts could close the air traffic control tower at the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport, and result in long lines at Nashville International Airport. 

Almost $15 million in cuts will affect educational institutions across the state, and 200 teacher and teacher aid jobs will be put at risk. 

Funding for Head Start will be cut, and the program eliminated for 12-hundred children. 

National Parks could change as well. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park could lose five camp grounds affecting more than 50,000 annual visitors.

With no compromise on the horizon, the blame game has been ongoing in Washington.

"I hope we have the opportunity to work this out in a way that is better for the American people," said U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Chattanooga Republican.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Maryville Republican blasted President Barack Obama. 

"It will be a complete failure of presidential leadership, and ought to be a grave embarrassment to President Obama," said Alexander.

Tennessee State Senator Jim Kyle has urged Governor Bill Haslam to use the proposed $100 million increase to the state's rainy day fund to help lessen the impact on programs that are funded by both state and federal money.

"We should not have Tennesseans going without their meals, or Head Start programs reducing services because Washington isn't acting," said Sen. Kyle. "It's a feasible solution that all democratic legislators are supporting."

President Obama and top House and Senate leaders are still expected to meet Friday, but at this point, the cutbacks appear unstoppable. 

The cuts will not be felt immediately. The majority won't go into effect for a month or maybe longer.

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com 

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