Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott issued the following statement in response to local news reports on comments he made regarding sequestration's effects on the Federal Aviation Administration and its potential impact on airports:
"The report authored by Scott Lilly at the Center for American Progress on the potential negative effects of sequestration on the FAA and airports is an accurate assessment of a possible outcome if sequestration is not avoided. The American Association of Airport Executives has even confirmed that Scott Lilly's analysis is a possibility if the sequester is not cancelled. Just as the Defense cuts would have a devastating impact on Hampton Roads, so would the non-defense cuts -- not only to the FAA but to all aspects of the Federal government.
"That is why it is imperative that we work to avoid sequestration immediately and why I have offered an effective strategy to deal with the crisis -- Congress must first cancel the sequester before extending any expiring tax cuts. If all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year as they are currently scheduled to do, the sequester would not be necessary.
"Before leaving Washington for the August recess and political conventions, the House voted to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts at a cost of $4 trillion over ten years and the Senate voted to extend only the Bush-era tax cuts for that portion of income under $250,000 at a ten-year cost of approximately $3 trillion. Congress should prioritize cancelling the sequester rather than extending tax cuts. If we can come up with $3 trillion or $4 trillion for tax cuts, we obviously should be able to come up with $1 trillion to cancel the sequester. If other Members of Congress have a better idea, they should say so now, with numbers, not with vague language suggesting that we promise to reduce the size of government with unspecified cuts. Otherwise, the devastating consequences of the sequester will have to be suffered.
"I fully assume the sequester will not be necessary because I believe Congress will eventually prioritize its cancellation over extending expiring tax cuts. Nevertheless, elected officials have a responsibility to be open and honest about their proposal to cancel the sequester because it will be so damaging to our economy, national defense, and other vital services of government."