Congressman Steve Daines today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to address the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic controller furloughs:
"It's time for the political games to end and for President Obama and the FAA to stop putting politics ahead of passengers," Daines stated. "When President Obama and the FAA would rather play politics instead of find real, common sense solutions, the American people lose. Today's legislation will help to ensure that American passengers aren't forced to bear the brunt of the President's political games."
In a press conference held yesterday, Daines stood with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to bring to light how the Obama administration's choice to furlough air traffic controllers, rather than find alternative savings within the FAA budget, was impacting American travelers.
"It is ridiculous that hard-working Montanans and Americans are canceling summer trips because the President and the FAA would rather play politics than find real solutions and some common sense cuts," Daines stated yesterday. "The President is putting politics ahead of passengers. And it needs to end."
On Sunday, April 21, 2013, the FAA chose to begin furloughing air traffic controllers and all other employees in order to implement sequestration and meet required savings of five percent. Although the Administration knew about the potential for sequestration since November 2011, it waited until April 16, 2013 -- just days before the furloughs were set to begin -- to inform Congress and U.S. airlines of its plans and warn that major delays could result.
The FAA furloughs have resulted in over 40 percent of flights being delayed or canceled.