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FAA Partial Shutdown Not Close to Resolved – Many Will Suffer – I am Angry

I wanted to find a sad and picture that made me feel disapointed. I think this one does nicely.

I wanted to find a sad picture that made me feel disapointed. I think this one does nicely. That is an old TWA 707 nose and landing gear located in Tuscon, AZ.

While US House leaders start summer recess today, there are still 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees that will remain furloughed and about 70,000 construction and support workers that will not have jobs until the the recess concludes on September 6th. Of course there are no guarantees that congress can even come to an agreement when they return. Due to the lack of cooperation, the FAA will continue to lose about $30million per day totaling over $1billion during the recess.

According to CNN, representatives continued to argue, “over an issue they said was the real subject of the dispute — new National Mediation Board rules that make it easier for airlines to unionize. Democrats favor the new rules; Republicans oppose them.”

While the country has been concerned about the raising of the debt ceiling, not as much attention has been given to the funding issues facing the FAA. Not everyone is losing due to the shutdown — at least for the short term. As part of the shut down, FAA taxes are not longer being collected by airlines and some have decided to pass the savings on to passengers, while others decided to keep the additional funds to offset the increase in fuel prices. While it seems that passengers and airlines are celebrating the savings, long-term it will only end up hurting airline infrastructure.

If passengers purchased tickets for travel after July 23rd and paid the taxes, they have the option to request a refund from the IRS. Delta Air Lines is hoping to make the process much easier, by offering the IRS tax refund directly though them.

Part of me wants to support the effort of passengers getting their refunds, since it is the government who messed up and they should be “punished” by having to give tax money back. However, the airline part of me feels that asking for a refund will just further hurt the airline industry and I rather “donate” my taxes I already paid.

This story is extremely angering and is NOT okay. The airline infrastructure and hard working employees should not be suffering while members of our political system go on holiday. I do not think that most politicians realize that their school-yard politics actually affects real people and this inability to work together will have a negative impact that will be felt for a long time.

 

Image: Telstar Logistics

8 comments to FAA Partial Shutdown Not Close to Resolved – Many Will Suffer – I am Angry

  • Jonathon Nield

    I’m with you. although I am 100% backing the airline position in this, you cannot have a successful airline industry without providing the necessary financial support for the airports. However, should the airlines have to give away money that has become legally theirs? Heck no. Should DC get off their *butts* and make sure these thousands of federal workers get a paycheck next week? Damn right they better. What a joke DC is lately.

    • I have my degree in political science and really want to say so much more about how f’d up this whole thing is, but have to keep telling myself this is an airline blog, not a politics blog. So trying to keep neutral and un-angry as much as possible, but it is not easy.

      I really feel for those who are out of a job because of this partial shut-down.

      David

  • Mark C. (OKC)

    Hope I don’t jinx it, but it looks like congress and the senate have a deal to end this stupid shutdown in the next couple of days. Hopefully it will be a long term deal so they don’t have to do this year after year.

  • David

    Don’t hold your breath about them passing an extension of the FAA Reauth (although I hope they do). Looks like Rockefeller and some others are going to hold it up in spite of the fact that Reid said he would let it pass. And frankly, it is absolutely absurd that the FAA is still in furlough. It’s really a nose in spite of your face situation…

    As I said above, I really do hope that they pass it. But they’re not just leaving for a month long vacation. As a former Senate staffer, I loved August recess, but there were a lot of times that I had to bust my butt because my boss had a question or was preparing for an event/trip. The worst was when I had to go on a trip with him (trust me, it’s true).

    Also keep in mind, that the August recess is a time that members of Congress get to actually spend a lot of time with constituents in the state/district. The recess is also mandated by law. Sure, they may take a week and travel with their family, but every one else does in the summer too. I’m not going to unequivocally say that their life is hard, but they are working even when they’re not. They always have to be on and prepared to respond to any and everything.

    This is particularly true for the President! When he goes on vacation, he still works. Sure, he might be on a ranch in Texas or play golf in Hawaii, but the commander in chief is always on. No days off for him.

  • With unemployment numbers being what they are, economic growth being anemic, and the threat of slipping back into recession (I think we’re in one already), I am absolutely beside myself that polticians could go on holiday with this issue unresolved, fully aware of the impact that it is having.

    What more can be said? The politicians cannot say with a straight face that they are acting in the interest of this country and its citizens. Despicable.

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