Senate Fails To Fund FAA, Blames Republicans

Federal Aviation Administration

In yet another classic example of partisan politics, the Senate adjourned for its summer recess without passing legislation that would extend funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. As one would expect, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is blaming Republicans for the partial shutdown, despite the fact that the House passed the funding extension and sent it to the Senate on July 22nd.

The lack of a funding extension has resulted in approximately 4,000 FAA employees being put out of work, numerous airport construction projects being idled, affecting approximately 10,000 construction workers, and the possibility of FAA safety inspectors being asked to work without pay. Fortunately, air traffic controllers are still on the job as they are paid from funding that is still in place.

“Construction projects all over America are held up at our airports,” said Reid, blaming Republicans for the impasse. β€œIt’s so very, very unreasonable.” (from TheHill.com)

The issues, of course, are disagreement over some of the provisions of the legislation. The legislation aims to reduce or eliminate Federal subsidies for rural airports. Subsidies are something that the Democrats are generally against, yet it appears that they are now for them when Republicans are against them. If Republicans came out against subsidizing oil companies, would the Democrats then be for them?

The other issue is about unions. The National Labor Relations Board instituted new rules affecting votes on labor representation, while the FAA legislation includes language affecting those rules. Senator Reid claims that the legislation takes a “non-union stance”. Whether or not it does is an issue to be debated, but of course, Senator Reid doesn’t like to debate anything that isn’t his idea, so the bill sits in the Senate where it will collect dust until they return in September.

The Senate, once again, has failed to do its job under the leadership of Senator Reid. This is the man that tabled no less than three pieces of debt ceiling legislation without even so much as a debate, while simultaneously blaming Republicans for not coming up with a solution. This is a man that didn’t actually present his own plan until three days before the deadline, even though everyone knew for months that this was coming. This is a man that wanted to change Senate rules in order to table a Republican bill without debate so that he could open up debate on his own bill.

Senator Reid is the embodiment of beltway, partisan politics. Senator Reid is the single greatest obstacle to getting anything done in Congress. But don’t worry. It’s all the Republicans’ fault.


+Kevin A. Nye

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