The White House kicked off "sequester week" by putting Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Sunday shows to again warn that automatic budget cuts will lead to long lines at airports.
LaHood told CNN's State of the Union that the cuts set to take effect Friday will force the government to furlough many air traffic controllers, leading to delays of flights, backing up thousands of passengers.
Air traffic control is "a big part of our budget," said LaHood, who delivered the same kind of message Friday to reporters in the White House briefing room.
On NBC's Meet The Press, LaHood said the Federal Aviation Administration will not compromise safety, but "we will have to work with the airlines to slow planes down."
LaHood is a Republicans and a former U.S. House member from Illinois. He urged his former congressional colleagues to look for a way to avoid the sequester, telling NBC "this does not have to happen."
The $85 billion in automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, are set to take effect March 1 -- Friday -- unless Obama and congressional Republicans reach a new debt reduction deal.
Expect the White House to spend every day before Friday talking about the impact of cuts that affect defense and domestic programs.
President Obama has proposed avoiding the sequester with a new debt reduction agreement that includes higher taxes on the wealthy as well as budget cuts; the new revenues would come by closing loopholes and ending deductions.
Congressional Republicans say Obama got higher tax rates to avoid the last budget standoff -- "the fiscal cliff" -- and this deal should focus on reduced spending.
Some Republicans are also accusing the administration of exaggerating the impact of cuts to put political pressure on the GOP; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said last week that "the president is making stuff up."