Today, Rep. Hall voted in favor of H.R. 1765, The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013. This bill, which passed the Senate last evening by unanimous consent, passed the House 361-41. After the vote, Hall released the following statement:
"The Reducing Flight Delays Act is a victory for the American people in the fight to reduce federal spending while preserving vital services. Republicans have stood firm against the White House's and Democrat-controlled Senate's threats that sequester cuts would only be replaced with tax increases, and when the Administration used flight delays this past week to make the sequester as painful as possible, the American people spoke out. Today's bill is proof that our citizens demand common-sense solutions -- not political ploys.
"Nine days ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced to Congress and U.S. airlines their decision to begin furloughing air traffic controllers and all other employees between now and September in order to meet the 5% sequester cut first proposed and later signed into law by President Obama. The announcement was made a mere four days before furloughs were set to begin.
"Despite the fact that the Administration knew about the $637 million sequester for over a year and a half and that they have the authority to reduce costs elsewhere, the FAA chose to implement furloughs that leave air traffic operations understaffed. Because air traffic controllers at both large and small facilities are set to be furloughed at the same rate, travelers and employees at smaller airports would be put at a particular disadvantage.
"Today's vote will allow the FAA to transfer funds within its budget to fully fund air traffic controllers' activities, thereby ending furloughs that have resulted in thousands of commercial flight delays this week. This could also prevent the closure of smaller federally funded, privately contracted towers.
"I will continue to work for responsible spending cuts and balancing the budget."