Chairman James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement after the House approved H.R. 1765 to further clarify that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has the flexibility to target sequestration cuts in accounts that do not hurt workers.
"The House vote today to clarify the FAA's flexibility to make the cuts from sequestration will hopefully empower Secretary LaHood to make the cuts to accounts that affect waste, not workers," said Chairman Lankford. "The uncertainty for our federal employees was completely avoidable through planning and strategy, like the targeted cuts passed by House Republican last may to replace the sequester.
"Other agencies planned for these cuts months ago and were not forced to furlough employees. Secretary LaHood now has no excuse not to make the sequestration cuts in other areas, rather than furlough employees or close contract towers," concluded Lankford.
The bill permits the FAA to transfer $253 million in FY 2013 to the operating budget, which can be used to end controller furloughs and reopen contract towers. This bill does not allocate additional funds or reverse the sequestration cuts for the FAA.