Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) issued the following statement regarding legislation allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent staffing shortages that have caused delays in the aviation system:
"Today, Congress stopped some of the bleeding caused by sequestration and passed a bill allowing the FAA to prevent staffing shortages that have caused significant flight delays and air travel disruptions in many of our country's largest airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport. Due to sequestration, more than 3,500 flights were delayed this week alone. The bill will provide the FAA some leeway to resolve the mounting bottlenecks that have crippled our nation's travel and will facilitate the free flow of commerce that our fragile economy depends on so greatly.
"Nevertheless, I am very disappointed in Washington's inability to address some of the even larger concerns resulting from sequestration, including the projected loss of more than 750,000 American jobs, the elimination of housing subsidies, the elimination of Head Start for 70,000 children, the reduction of more than 4 million Meals on Wheels for our most vulnerable seniors, and the denial of cancer treatment for thousands of patients on Medicare. In the end, the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will cost our country much more as it struggles to rebuild itself after the Great Recession.
"That's why today's vote does not close the book on sequestration negotiations; rather, the fight continues. I am committed to replacing sequestration with a sensible plan that grows our economy, create jobs, and reduces our deficit in a balanced way."