Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement regarding legislation allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prevent staffing shortages that have caused delays in the aviation system:
"Since Sunday, April 21st, over 3,500 flight delays have caused terrible inconvenience for travelers nationwide and adversely affected U.S. businesses. Yet in reality, this was an avoidable situation caused solely by Republican Party intransigence, who have forced our nation into across-the-board budget cuts and furloughs from sequestration. And although granting the FAA flexibility to prevent air traffic controller furloughs and maintain full staffing levels is extremely important, the bill on the floor today, HR 1765, is nothing more than a Band-aid, and does not even address sequestration cuts that FAA will have to make in Fiscal Year 2014 and beyond.
Even more disturbing is that the bill before the House today does nothing to stop other equally damaging cuts from sequestration. Indeed, the Republican Party's failure to replace sequestration will result in children being forced out of Head Start, seniors losing Meals on Wheels, families being evicted due to loss of housing assistance, delayed justice for criminals facing trial, important medical research projects abandoned, and the loss of nearly one million jobs.
Specifically, a few examples of how the sequester will affect Americans across the nation include:
Head Start: 70,000 children will be kicked out of Head Start; Furloughs causing delays in processing retirement for disability claims will continue; there will be four million fewer Meals on Wheels for seniors; 600,000 people will be dropped off WIC; there will be 125,000 lessHUD rental assistant vouchers; Emergency unemployment insurance will be cut by 11% for two million out-of-work Americans; there will be 2,100 fewer food safety inspectors (an 18% cut); longer waits to approve new drugs; Defense and Homeland Security furloughs equivalent to 1,000 fewer federal agents, the FBI, border security, etc.; one third of combat air units are grounded; 89,000 agency-wide furloughs in the IRS (up to seven days, including taxpayer assistance centers).
Beyond a doubt, Congress should not be mitigating the effects of sequestration on just one segment of the sequester when children, the elderly our military and many, many others impacted by this irresponsible policy are left to fend for themselves."