Congressman Pete Gallego (TX-23) released the following statement in regards to his vote in favor of the "Reducing Flight Delays Act":
"I'm glad Congress gave air-traffic controllers the flexibility they need to avoid the furloughs that cause travel delays. I remain disappointed, however, that Congressional leadership refuses to work on a comprehensive and permanent solution to the sequester. A patchwork of varying public policies is a bad approach.
Travelers were inconvenienced with airport delays, but working families across the country who are facing reduction in work hours will lose income. Some seniors won't receive their Meals on Wheels and some children are losing access to Head Start Programs.
Congress cannot continue to senselessly lurch from one problem to the next. Deliberate and well-thought-out policy prevents a crisis. Unfortunately, current congressional practice is to resist good public policy in favor of bad crisis management.
A bipartisan conference committee of the Texas Legislature is currently working on a state budget. Our nation would be well-served to follow the Texas example. We can solve our budget woes through bipartisan, bicameral work. House Republican leadership should appoint House budget conferees to work with the Senate and finalize a budget resolution that addresses sequestration.
I am an original cosponsor of H.Res.174 that urges the Speaker of the House to request a conference with the Senate and appoint conferees to proceed with budget deliberations. Each day that passes is a missed opportunity to address the real problems that are affecting our nation."
This bill would allow the Transportation Secretary to transfer up to $253 million in carryover balances from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) which could offset the cost of ending the furloughs of air traffic controllers and the 149 Contract Towers. Although the legislation is good for travelers, it is not a substitute for action to replace the sequester with broad-based balanced deficit reduction.