Automatic Spending Cuts Could Delay Re-Opening of Statue of Liberty: U.S. Parks Dept.

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The reopening of the Statue of Liberty could be further delayed if automatic budget cuts go into effect on Friday. 

Liberty and Ellis Island have been closed to the public and without power since Sandy.

Outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spoke Tuesday after reviewing damage on the islands.

Congress approved the National Park Service's request for $59 million as part of last month's Sandy relief package, but the automatic spending cuts could result in staff losses, and ultimately, delays. 

“It’s going to slow down the processing of contracts which are needed in order for us to be able to move forward with the docks, with the security measures, as well as the other improvements that need to be made,” Salazar said.

Salazar said even after the islands reopen, the cuts could lead to fewer operating days during the week.