On Friday, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) voted for a measure that would end the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers, which have resulted in thousands of commercial flight delays this week.
The Reducing Flight Delays Act would give the FAA the flexibility to transfer up to $253 million within its budget in order to fund the activities of FAA air traffic controllers and other employees. The furloughs, which began on Sunday, are a result of sequestration's across-the-board cuts for Fiscal Year 2013. The FAA says there have been more than 3,500 flight delays since Sunday.
"This is another disturbing example of how sequestration impacts our constituents, our economy, our federal agencies and workforce," said Hanabusa. "While it is imperative that we get our air traffic controllers back to work, this is only a quick fix to a small piece of a much bigger problem. We need to address sequestration now."
"We all knew this was going to happen if we let these indiscriminate across-the-board cuts take place, and that is why I have pushed for the repeal of sequestration since the beginning. I hope this serves as a wakeup call that we need to develop a balanced, long-term approach to reduce our spending, instead of addressing these issues after they happen."
The bill passed by a vote of 361-41 and now heads to President Obama's desk.