For people living in the far west end of Richmond, a trip up I-95 to Washington D.C. is almost a no-brainer when deciding on a travel destination. According to ABC News today, with the federal government's $85 billion in budget cuts, visitors to Washington, as well as locals will be feeling the effects of the belt-tightening very soon.
Forget the tour of the White House. It was discovered that $74,000 a day could be saved in Secret Service salaries if they were suspended. This very thing happened last week. And the extended hours at the National Archives we are accustomed to having from March 15 through Labor Day? They have been suspended too.
A bigger concern involves the Washington Metro-Area Transit Authority. The WMATA stands to lose more than $8 million in federal funding. Add to that the loss of revenue because of furloughed federal workers staying home, and that means several more millions in lost revenue.
There is one bright spot on the horizon, and contingency plans have been in effect for several months prior to the sequestration. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is expected to go on without any problems.
The festival is set to start in a little over a week. The celebration is expected to be as beautiful and spectacular as ever, according to National Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson.