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?
But, no mention of that in this article.
Any private company would know exactly how much property they own or lease and the details on every one, yet the fed has no clue how much they own. Nice.
dumb as dirt Republicans at it again.
those poooooor billionaires need to find a
how do they survive?
But, but the Republicans kept telling Sean Hannity on their appearances on his radio show that the entire Sequester was a "joke." It was all about White House Easter Egg rolls, right?
Except, they had to cave on meat inspections, because it could not live with the political fallout of an e-coli or salmonella outbreak being blamed on them.
The Justice Dept was just handed hundreds of millions in reprogrammed funds this very week, and the next day Justice announced they will have zero furloughs for this year.
Do you want to know why? Despite Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Holder getting into a shouting match the day before during the Committee testimony, the Republicans knew that incidents like the Boston bombing investigation were on the front page, and investigators at Justice were being furloughed (and that included FBI agents).
So there is two "caves" for you. Is Obama exploiting the Sequester for political gain. Yes.
Did the Republicans mislead the public when they claimed the Sequester would have little or no effect (on ATC, jobs, the military, etc). Yes.
In fact, the Republicans did a complete 180 on the Sequester. During the fall campaign, they ran against it and told the truth. In January, they did a complete political flip flop and "embraced" it.
What is the next agency that will face a crisis?
I am betting the agency that took the greatest share of the Sequester cuts - the US military. It must absorb 50% of all the cuts, despite being only 17% of the budget.
Today, as I type this, 17 Air Force combat wings have become non-mission ready because of Sequestration.
The Army cannot train its Brigade Combat Teams going into Afghanistan, and training is down 80%.
The Marines have almost no funded flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year.
When we have the international equivalent of the Boston bombing on the world scene, the armchair warriors and American Idol watchers are in for a rude wake up call. Our military has been cut off at the knees.
But, Entitlement checks were completely exempt from Sequestration.
With the Sequester, we are not addressing Entitlement spending. The Sequester only cover 37% of all spending (discretionary). Only a small portion of mandatory spending (Medicare reimbursements to providers) is covered under sequestration, and it is a very small portion.
Basically, the US military was raped fiscally so that Entitlements (including Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF, etc) would not have to pay dime.
And, Entitlements are exploding. 10,000 people join the retirement ranks (non working Americans) every single day. The number of people on SS Disability is nearly 9 million! One if five households is on Food Stamps. One in seven Americans gets a EBT Food Stamp card.
NONE of this is addressed by the Sequester.
The Sequester punishes the military, however, greatly.
What is funny is that his incompetents now recognized is simply a cover for his vindictiveness.
Here on the sequestration Obama was dilliberally trying to make things bad for political reasons. His intentional actions are so bad that its actually a euphemism to call it incompetents.
Still this lie is better than ignoring the situation all together which is what almost all of the press & media have been doing so far in regard to Obama.
“Basically, the US military was raped fiscally so that Entitlements (including Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF, etc) would not have to pay dime.”
In about 20 years there will be no U.S. military because of the burdens of ‘entitlement’ spending and the interest on existing debt. So of course the U.S. military is going to get raped and its going to get a whole lot worse because most of the military consist of patriots who understand that their division is not nor can it ever be a permenet fixture.
Thoses on welfare don’t care as a group, and instead of spending their days traing for or engaging in the occupation of war. Many of their days are spent idling and politically organizing for democrats & more welfare.
So yes the U.S. Military will go down and this is only the beginning. They will in time cease to exist. In a weird way i suppose that is a good thing, for if they did act & think like leftist parasites they would stage a coup and overthrow the Federal Government. (much as military’s have done around the world and thou-out history)
Thanks, Congress, for putting the FAA above everybody else including the military. The USAF has 18 fighter squadrons grounded, the Navy has a proportional amount of their jets grounded, and they have 8 ships that will miss deployment this summer. But the FAA had their budget problems magically solved because some dickhead Congressmen had their flights delayed. Burn in hell.
The FAA fix was easy. The Republicans agreed to give the President authority that he already had to get him to stop pretending that the sequester was causing flight delays. Didn’t cost us a dime. If you can come up with a similar cost neutral fix to the USAF’s problems as you see them, we’re all ears. I’m okay with just about anything that doesn’t involve spending more money.
Very possibly the stupidest post I’ve ever read.
The reason it was easy to pass an FAA fix is because it really wasn’t necessary in the first place. It was a fake issue, the administration was going out of their way to disrupt air travel and refusing to use authority they already had to mitigate the disruptions. Congress passed a bill authorizing the administration to move money around within the DOT budget to relieve the problem, something Congressional leaders already believed the administration had the authority to do. Voila, problem solved. Cost? Zero Dollars. OTOH, there really isn’t an easy fix to the Pentagon’s cuts. Either taxes have to increase or the budget has to be cut elsewhere. Neither which is likely to happen unless one party gains control of congress. They’re just not even remotely comparable situations.