What does it require to get members of
That's the take-away from last week's lightning-fast, lopsided bipartisan votes that transferred more than a quarter-billion dollars to the
Let's all agree that furloughing thousands of air traffic controllers nationwide was not a particularly good idea. But it was forced on the FAA by the across-the-board reductions required by the
What's so stunning about the correction, however, is how hardly a member of Congress was willing to stand up and insist that the other truly ridiculous sequester cuts weren't corrected, too. Surely, they could have started with the reductions to cancer treatment clinics — a funding decision that won't merely be an inconvenience but which advocates say will have deadly results.
Or maybe the 70,000 children who are going to be dropped from
At least it was good to hear Maryland's own Rep.
Republicans have been running around for weeks claiming President
In the case of a government shutdown, the FAA would have had authority to declare certain personnel as vital to public safety, perhaps, but the sequester is a different animal. The agency didn't have the legal right to move money from "supplies and travel," for instance, into salaries. And that's why Congress had to act to solve the problem — a point members of the GOP must have accepted since they supported the bill.
Why did the
Of course, that didn't happen. And gradually the effects of sequester are being felt. Disrupting air travel was apparently the red line that our elected officials just couldn't tolerate. That Aunt Lucy in Anchorage won't be getting the
It was shameful that Congress allowed the sequester cuts to go through, and now it's shameful that these same folks are using a Band-Aid to fix them when a tourniquet is in order. Clearly, the only answer for the American people suffering from sequester-related budget cuts is to head to the nearest airport and occupy every parking space, restroom, lounge and hallway until enough travelers are inconvenienced to get Washington's attention.
Who knew that air travelers were the privileged group? You certainly couldn't tell from the seats in economy class on any major U.S. carrier where "privileges" are hard to come by these days. Perhaps with consumer spending down and unemployment running high, austerity measures of most any type really aren't what members of Congress should be focusing on anyway. Despite the FAA relief, they are the ones who appear to be flying blind.