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Napolitano Warns of Long Lines at US Airports

Passengers cast shadows as they walk along a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, March 4, 2013.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is warning travelers to get to U.S. airports early because government spending cuts are creating long security and customs lines.

Napolitano said Monday that several busy airports, including those in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, now have very long lines after the mandatory spending cuts took effect last Friday.

She said conditions will get worse if security and customs agents are furloughed. The U.S. official said she does not want to scare people, but just to inform them to expect longer-than-usual lines.

The cut in airport services is just one result of the $85 billion in government spending cuts that took effect Saturday after Congress and the White House failed to reach a budget agreement.