Skip to comments.Breaking: House passes bill to end FAA furloughs
Posted on 04/26/2013 10:14:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
On a slow news day, this qualifies as breaking news. Democrats and Republicans have come together in rare bipartisan fashion to slap down the FAA’s sequester antics by increasing the spending flexibility of the agency to deal with a 4% reduction of a budget that’s gone up almost 10% over the last six years:
In rare bipartisan accord, normally quarrelsome U.S. lawmakers passed a measure designed to end budget-related air traffic controller furloughs blamed for widespread flight delays.
The House of Representatives approved the legislation, capping a major congressional initiative as delays snarled traffic at airports. The House vote comes a day after unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate.
The measure — which is expected to be signed into law by President Obama — gives the Transportation Department budget planners new flexibility for dealing with forced spending cuts.
It would also allow authorities to protect 149 control towers at small- and medium-sized airports that are slated for closure for budgetary reasons.
The Senate passed the same bill last night, and the White House announced earlier today that Barack Obama would sign the bill if Congress passed it. He has little choice in the matter; Senate Democrats sounded the retreat yesterday when it became apparent that voters didn’t blame the sequester but an incompetent Obama administration for the delays. Vetoing the bill would have made Obama’s intention to inflict as much pain as possible too obvious.
Jay Carney still tried to salvage as much political spin as possible:
“But ultimately, this is no more than a temporary Band-Aid that fails to address the overarching threat to our economy posed by the sequester’s mindless across the board cuts.”
Would that be the “mindless across the board cuts” authored by the White House? Yes, indeed.
Update: David Freddoso puts it very well:
Sequestration is actually showing us why government may in fact be the worst institution in our entire society to make decisions about whats done with money. Amid a slight reduction in what Philadelphia gets from the feds to pay for low-income housing, the city leaves low-income families languishing on some waiting list, lays off a bunch of workers who are supposed to serve them, and then decides to pay for elective surgeries for any male city employee who wants female private parts, or vice versa.
I bet that really makes you want to restore all of that lost funding, doesnt it?
Thats just one example and its an egregious one, but theres an example like this in every federal agency and every town and every state in America. That is why, I believe, Senate Democrats backed down so quickly on the FAA. For every person convinced by the air traffic control furloughs about the virtues of government, there are probably ten who have discovered just how badly misplaced its priorities are.
My column at The Fiscal Times yesterday notes the huge budget hit the FAA has taken … not:
Wait, did I say reduction of funds? Over the same six-year period, the FAA budget has increased from $14.5 billion in FY2007 to $15.9 billion in FY2012, with the FY2014 budget proposal set for $15.5 billion. The budget increased 9.7 percent between FY2007 and FY2012, and even with a proposed reduction of $400 million in FY2014, the FAA would still have increased 6.9 percent in seven years. If that seems modest, consider that air traffic levels have declined by 27 percent since the 9/11 attacks and that FAA funding has increased 41 percent in the same period.
In fact, CNNs Candy Crowley confronted LaHood two months ago on this very point. Budgets go up and down, was LaHoods weak response, but hes only half right. In Washington, they only go up.
How about we sequester foreign aid to our enemies for a while.
Bojangles will probably let it sit on his desk for a few days in a fit of his passive/aggressive behavior.
This strikes me as a form of budget hand holding a parent would do for their child, leading them step by step through a budget and pointing out exactly where each dollar should be spent and for what.
Here of course the “child” is Obama. I mean honestly, how difficult is it to absorb and manage a budget “cut” ( really again, a cut to spending increase) that’s less than 10% of the total budget? Households across the country do it all the time.
If the government did only two things -- put up statues of Benedict Arnold, and paid for medicine for sick children, and if the government had to cut spending, what would it cut? Obviously, they would cut back on the medicine for sick children: if they cut back on the Benedict Arnold statues, people might notice and begin to ask "Why do we do any of that, anyway?"
Probably. But at least the sheeple know the blame lies with BO. I hope congress grows a pair and keeps slapping him down regularly whenever he drops these road apples.
“Obama could do this if he were a competent executive.”
Well, in the case of the USPS, they are doing it and Diane Goldman Berman Fineswine’s husband, Tricky Dicky Blum is handling all the RE transactions. But then Fineswine/Blum would sell gas chambers to the Germans if they could make a buck. Jews should be ashamed to have to claim this pair.
Of course, they stuff cotton in their ears and choose not to.
There are so many federal equivalents of erecting statues of Benedict Arnold, we could go on and on. How much did it cost to queer the military? How much will amnesty for illegal aliens cost us? How much does it cost the Department of Agriculture to hire Spanish speaking flacks to recruit more of them to the food stamp rolls?
Just a few examples . . .
Obama will twist it to say that he forced congress to act and he Obama The Great WON
I hope to Hell this is sarcasm, because if it isn't, its absolutely pathetic that this is viewed as an achievement. Its also absolutely pathetic that Congress had to get involved with figuring out how to get an Executive agency to implement a 4% "cut" (remember: it isn't really a cut) without the wheels falling off.
But they might vote against us in the U.N.
Oh wait, these foreign countries we hand over the American treasure to, already do that.
When it comes to national suicide, our government has thought of everything!!!
So we cave once again. No surprise there.
Wonderful. This just gives the White House another victory. Contrary to what many of us have been claiming all week, this makes it appear that the FAA COULD NOT pick and choose where to apply their “cuts” (and, it WAS the Republicans who were to blame for any and all ATC furloughs).
The sequester must really be hurting the Dims for them to join in this.
These jerks need to fly probably more than most of us. It was cramping their style. That's how it could get passed so quickly. The Senate will very soon follow suit.
Letting dems reverse course to lessen the backlash on their policies IS CAVING.
Can't we all just get along while we continue spending trillions we don't have and have no hope of ever getting?
It is not caving. If we could repeal Obamacare, would this be considered caving?