Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) urged the Republican Leadership of the House of Representatives to call the House back in session in order to pass a clean version of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. Despite last minute pleas to solve the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shutdown, House Republican leaders closed up shop for the month of August, ensuring the devastating damage from the Republican-led FAA shutdown will last for at least another month.
"The current FAA shutdown is yet another example of how extremist right-wind ideology has taken control of the Republican Party," said Rep. Baca. "Instead of passing a clean FAA reauthorization bill that both Democrats and Republicans can support, Republican leadership has put forward a proposal that further guts American working families in order to score political points. Unless Congress acts quickly, Republicans will jeopardize nearly 90,000 American jobs and sacrifice over $1 billion in lost revenue."
Pending enactment of a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, Congress has passed 20 short-term extension acts without controversial policy provisions since 2007. Breaking with precedent, the 21st short-term extension that the House Republican leadership crafted and the House passed last week contained extraneous policy riders that make it more difficult for aviation and rail workers to unionize. Despite being warned that such provisions could not pass the Senate, Republican leaders chose to attach these provisions to a must-pass, short-term funding extension and forced a partial FAA shutdown at a cost of $200 million per week in lost revenue.
"Right now, the FAA shutdown is having a devastating impact on our already struggling California economy," concluded Rep. Baca. "Republican ideology is costing our state over $131 million in lost airport construction funds, directly resulting in 4,779 lost jobs. The continued obstructionism on the FAA reauthorization bill marks the height of irresponsibility, once again proving that House Republicans are truly unfit to govern. With the California unemployment rate at 12%, we must be doing everything in our power to encourage more job creation -- yet House Republicans remain content to stifle economic growth and gut American jobs."