Published 04 Aug, 2011
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he had reached a deal with other Congressional leaders to end the FAA shutdown and get America’s aviation system back to work. This agreement comes after nearly three weeks of gridlock, during which the US government lost over half a billion dollars in revenues while 4,000 FAA employees were furloughed and 70,000 airport construction workers were told to go home.
In order to get people back to work, the Democrats are willing to compromise, agreeing to the provisions of the FAA extension demanded by House Republican with the understanding that the DOT Secretary has waiver ability regarding the specifics in the measure. Essentially, to ensure the extension unfolds smoothly, FAA leadership is prepared to use their executive authority to override the objectionable provisions.
Yesterday, several TWU Members attended rallies: one with Congressmen Tim Bishop and Steve Israel at ISP (Long Island, NY) Airport, in conjunction with the Long Island Federation of Labor and another with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee at IAH in Houston, TX. It’s events like these that kept the issue in the forefront of the media and helped to ensure the American public knew this wasn’t a simple disagreement over Essential Air Service. Thanks to all of you for making calls, sending email, and showing up for events throughout this.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said about the agreement, “Additionally, Democrats will not allow a handful of Republicans to hijack the debate over a long-term FAA extension to serve an anti-worker agenda. We must work quickly to craft a long-term bipartisan reauthorization … and forge a lasting compromise.”
Thank you in advance for your continued support and activism as we advocate for a full FAA reauthorization when Congress reconvenes in September.