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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Shame on Congress" - FAA Furlough's Workers

BREAKING: Aug.4,2011 3:23pm est  AP Reports that the Seante  Harry Reid HAS A DEAL to end the Partial FAA shutdown and put over 74,000 workers back to work & OFF the unemployment line!

Aaahhh, SUMMER! Long warm lazy crazy days! A time to relax. A time to stop and enjoy life.

We ALL work very hard all year and we deserve a must needed break from the monatny of the day to day work grind. Time to spend some quality time with family, friends and ....... CONSTITUENTS!?

Right after the final vote was cast on the Debt Ceiling Bill on August, 2, 2011, Congress fled Washington D.C. on there summer vacation break faster then a Nolan Ryan fastball. Why not, you may ask! They work hard all year. They finished there job for now so it's time to take a well earned VACATION!


A congressional dispute has delayed funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, resulting in a partial shutdown. So while Congress hits the beach, aviation workers hit the unemployment lines. Over 74,000 workers to be exact. 
At issue is a decision by Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, to add a provision to the funding extension cutting subsidies to rural airports,known as the Essential Air Service program at a savings of about $16 million.(see partial list below as he manly targeted democrats). The measure is opposed by powerful Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.  There's also a dispute over provisions that would make it easier for airline employees to unionize. Democrats support the section; Republicans generally oppose it. 

FAA employees are stuck in the middle of the dispute. But they're not the only people being hurt. The FAA has stopped hundreds of airport construction projects nationwide, putting construction workers out of work.
Also support workers, such as food service vendors, are also affected, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

The FAA says the impasse will also prevent the federal government from collecting approximately $200 million a week in airline passenger taxes -- or about $1.2 billion during the congressional recess.

All this simple to cut $200 million of the federal budget! 

The FAA’s re-authorization, normally routine, has become a partisan football in a polarized Washington, D.C. Sound familiar?

The FAA has gotten along for almost five years on a string of 20 "temporary extensions" because Congress has been unable to work out long-term funding for the agency since 2007. The 20th extension ran out on July 23, and so "nonessential" functions — construction projects, facilities inspections and the like — were shut down.

Both the House and the Senate have actually passed bills to fund the FAA this year, but they weren't able to combine them into a single measure both chambers could agree on.

The Senate version, which passed in February, left in place a new federal rule that would make it easier for unions to organize at airlines. (Previously, unions had to win "yes" votes from a majority of all eligible employees, whether they actually voted or not; employees who didn't show up to vote were automatically counted as "no" votes. The new rule makes it a simple majority of employees who actually vote.)

In April, the House passed its version. Under heavy lobbying from Delta Airlines — where the National Mediation Board is investigating alleged corporate interference with a union election last year — it included an extra provision to repeal the new union rule.

Senate Democrats refused to go along with a compromise that killed the union organizing rule, which President Barack Obama said he would veto anyway. But House Republicans said it was non-negotiable.

So while once again Washington play's partisan politics with thousands of American's lives, these workers are now furloughed until after Labor Day when Congress comes back from there "Well deserved Summer vacation"!  So instead of them heading off to wait in line to see a movie or standing in line a t the register at a mall, they are ALL heading for the unemployment line and are trying to make ends meat and survive!

Again I blame both parties for NOT working out there differences for the American workers and only thinking of there own political agendas and self interest and spitefulness!


NBC News reported that Reid sent House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, a letter Wednesday offering to approve a clean extension, saying the cuts in airport subsidies could be negotiated in a long-term bill when Congress returns next month. 
 Not all of the airports are in states represented by senior Democrats influential in finance or transportation. The Athens, Ga., airport, for example, is in a state with two Republican senators and a district represented by a conservative Republican.