Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)made the following statement after voting today to give the Department of Transportation (DOT) the flexibility to transfer funds that will prevent the staffing shortages in air traffic control towers that have been causing widespread flight delays across America. The bill allows for the transfer of up to $253 million from various accounts to avoid reductions of staff and operations through Sept. 30. Ultimately, the bill is expected to reduce the delays that travelers began to experience this week at airports across the country related to air traffic controller furloughs.
"I voted for this legislation because it helps ease the pain that the sequester is causing for the American people," said Rep. Kind. "I've said all along that "sequester' is Latin for "stupid spending cuts' and these airport delays are a perfect example of that.
"Air tower furloughs caused major headaches this week, but the sequester's impact will also be felt by generations to come. Across the country, over 70,000 kids are going to be denied access to Head Start and Early Head Start services, and Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) programs won't have the funding they need to servespecial-needs children. Additionally, low-income, minority and first-generation college students and those with disabilitieswill see 5 percent cuts to programs that help them afford college.
"I can't help but be a little cynical when I see Members of Congress jumping into action to rectify a problem that has a direct impact on them, but do nothing while young kids find themselves being shut out from programs like Head Start. When it comes to helping our young people, we only get one chance to give them the tools and skills they need for future success.
"The scope of the sequester's damage is both broad and deep. It's time for Congress to pass comprehensive, responsible legislation to prevent any further damage."