Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) today praised House passage of a bill that will give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flexibility to avoid flight delays stemming from mandatory budget cuts known as the sequester. Designed as a mandatory mechanism to reduce our nation's budget deficit, the sequester required across-the-board cuts within all federal agencies. This approach limited the ability of agency heads to direct the cuts towards wasteful or low-priority spending.
The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, H.R. 1765, provides the FAA with additional flexibility to manage the cuts by permitting the agency to shift unspent funds to cover operations and staffing needs. The bill was passed by a vote of 361-41.
"Sequestration is the law of the land and I want to make sure that the cuts from it are done in the most responsible and thoughtful way possible," said Ribble. "Enacting the across-the-board cuts under the current sequester does little to target the waste in each department or agency. Instead of blind actions, this legislation will give the FAA the ability to preserve needed services. This measure will help spare the programs that are beneficial, while allowing managers to trim the areas that are less essential. We are never going to trim the fat with an across-the-board cut. Pinpointing areas of waste is where our attention is needed and this bill will help that effort."
Background on Ribble's Bill, The Sequestration Flexibility Act:
In February, Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) introduced the Sequestration Flexibility Act, H.R. 816, which will provide department or agency heads greater flexibility to transfer funds from the spending accounts they control. Each agency will still be required to meet the automatic spending reduction levels under the sequestration order and the Budget Control Act of 2011, but agency and department heads will have wider discretion in reaching their new funding levels under the law.