Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement regarding legislation passed today in the House of Representatives allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent furloughs that have caused airport delays around the country as a result of budget sequestration:
"Today's vote to allow the FAA the flexibility to prevent the furloughs that have slowed flight air travel and caused hours of delays at our nation's airports, was a glaring example of why the automatic, across the board cuts known as the sequester are such a bad idea. While I voted for this bill to help restore normalcy to air travel, it does nothing to meet the other pressing needs and critical programs that are being slashed by sequestration.
"I have opposed the sequester since it was first conceived. The idea that across the board, blind cuts could be used as a vehicle to reduce spending is foolhardy and dangerous. The sequester cuts seriously hurt our economy, debilitate programs Americans rely on, and put our public safety at risk. Budgets are statements of priorities, and by pursuing a piecemeal approach to fixing the sequester, we are being asked to place a higher value on airline delays in lieu of Head Start, the Supplemental Nutrition Program Assistance Program (SNAP) , funding for science and research, FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, and public safety to name only a few.
"Members of Congress are elected to work together and act in the best interests of our constituents to make tough decision on things like federal spending. Sequestration represents a failure of that charge by House Republicans and sadly, as the effects of this wrongheaded plan become more and more apparent, it is likely that we will see more acts of desperation like today's vote, rather than a long term fix that truly addresses the needs of Americans."