Obama signs order to begin $85B spending cuts, ending flyovers - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Obama signs order to begin $85B spending cuts, ending flyovers

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FORT WORTH, Texas -

President Obama signed the order to begin the $85 billion in spending cuts.

It was expected after no break was seen in the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans.

The president signed an order required by law that set in motion the automatic, government-wide cuts.

The cuts will be phased in over time, so most of the impact won't be felt immediately.

Pentagon funding will be reduced by 8%.

Most domestic agencies will cut 5%.

The Department of Education and the IRS are preparing to notify some employees they'll be taking unpaid days off.

The sticking point was whether or not increased taxes should be part of the resolution.

There will be no cuts to military pay and benefits.

Military flyovers are a staple at sporting events like NASCAR, baseball games and NFL games. But they might become a thing of the past thanks to sequestration.

The last flyover is scheduled at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The official expected cut-off date is April 1st.

It's a costly exercise ranging roughly $10,000 per plane, per hour.

The 301st Fighter Wing based at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base gets about 80 requests a year to do flyovers. They'll do about 20 of them, sometimes several in one day.

"Typically those are extra flying events that we do. It may be on a weekend that the unit is not flying or for an activity that's outside of our normal flying day so they cost extra and were looking at reducing all of those," said Brigadier General Bruce Miller.

Eddie Gossage, President of Texas Motor Speedway, says the flyovers are a regular part of every big race weekend.

He'll have a flyover for April's NASCAR race thanks to private planes.

"To me, sports, America and patriotism go hand and hand together. In this case the Air Force, Navy, etc. won't be getting that exciting moment of patriotism and a real climax from the fans and that's an opportunity lost," said Mr. Gossage.

The budget cuts will also affect the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels which have both cancelled the rest of their scheduled appearances.

The impact could be felt at air shows that feature them as their headline attraction.

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