TSA

A TSA security officer watches as passengers go through security in Salt Lake City, Utah. Travelers can expect longer security lines as the automatic spending cuts would force the TSA to furlough - temporarily lay-off - screening agents. (Reuters)

Deep U.S. budget cuts are due to kick in Friday unless Congress acts to stop them, which is unlikely.

The $85 billion in across-the-board cuts, mandated by a 2011 deficit reduction law, apply in equal measure to defense and non-defense spending.

They do not apply to about 70 percent of the money spent by the U.S. government, which includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on government debt.

According to the White House budget office, the cuts translate into a 9 percent cutback for non-defense programs and a 13 percent reduction for defense programs, crammed into the next seven months.

President Barack Obama and administration officials have warned in a series of appearances of threats to U.S. defense readiness, long delays at airports, cargo held up at ports of entry, and parents scrambling to find child care if the spending cuts are allowed to go through.

The full impact will depend on whether Congress votes to end or mitigate the reductions or lets them run their full course.

On the assumption that they last at least seven months, here is a sample of the consequences drawn from rough estimates submitted by major agencies to the appropriations committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Department of Defense

• Freeze civilian hiring, which currently amounts to about 1,500 to 2,000 people per week. Layoff temporary employees with as many as 46,000 jobs affected.

• Cut more than $10 billion in funding, mostly to contractors involved in maintenance and renovation of Department of Defense facilities around the country.

• Cancel a proportion of ship and aircraft maintenance work for the third and fourth quarters of the 2013 fiscal year that ends September 30. Reduce training and maintenance for Army units, which will put them at "at reduced readiness levels."

• Cut one third of naval operations in the Pacific. Reduce flying hours for Air Force pilots.

• Cut $3 billion in health care for military personnel and retirees which could lead to "denials of elective services" for active-duty dependents and retirees.

• Cut roughly 9 percent in 2,500 weapons development programs.

Federal Aviation Administration

• Furlough all FAA employees for a total of eleven days, with as much as 10 percent of the workforce of 40,000 not working on "any given day," causing slowdowns in air traffic control operations and delays for travelers. Impose a hiring freeze across the agency.

• Reduce by $136 million FAA capital expenditures for maintenance and modernization of air traffic control systems, resulting in a slowdown in development of the NextGen satellite-based navigation system.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

• Furlough of customs and border patrol workers for between 12 and 14 days, significantly increasing wait times for visitors at airports and other ports of entry.

• Downsize the workforce by 2,750 customs officers and 5,000 border patrol agents.