Home Transportation Cantor: It’s Fine for Airlines to Pocket Aviation Taxes During FAA Shutdown

Cantor: It’s Fine for Airlines to Pocket Aviation Taxes During FAA Shutdown

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Is this Can’tor character unbelievable or what? On the other hand, at least he’s honest in his “My corporate pals and I have got ours, so FU” philosophy.

Meanwhile, as Rep. Gerry Connolly pointed out a couple weeks ago, this shutdown is resulting in the “furlough [of] 4,000 FAA employees, including 975 here in our region.” And, Connolly added, “None of that serves the public, and ironically, we’re going to lose money.”

Yes, WE are going to lose money, and our state and region are going to get hurt, BUT according to Eric Can’tor, it’s just fine if the airlines pocket the $30 million a day that the FAA isn’t able to collect. Apparently, it’s also hunky-dory with Can’tor that thousands of FAA aviation employees — engineers, safety analysts, etc. – have been furloughed; that $2.5 billion in airport construction projects are on hold; and that hundreds of stop-work orders were issued for projects to build and modernize airport control towers.

Oh, and why is the FAA shut down? One of the issues is labor organizing rights. According to MSNBC:

…In February, the Senate passed an FAA extension bill that allowed for airline and railroad workers to unionize more easily. Under that legislation, a union could be set up if a simple majority of voters who were present approved of the union. Under the old rule, employees who didn’t show up to the meeting were counted as “NO” votes on unionizing.

In April, the House passed a FAA extension bill that did away with this union provision. But Senate Democrats have said they won’t pass a FAA extension bill that doesn’t have the union provision.

In other words, the Republican war on working people continues, and has claimed yet another victim.

Second, “House Transportation Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-FL) wrote up another temporary FAA authorization bill that passed the House…[and] included specific language that would strip funding away from some rural airports.”

Third, the Republican-controlled House then skedaddled out of town for a month-long recess, without resolving these issues.

Finally, Eric Can’tor goes on Fox (of course) to claim that it’s just “what business does” when the airlines profit off of the Republican-caused FAA shutdown. All while workers suffer, as a result of Can’tor’s lack of leadership and warped priorities. What else is new?

  • Teddy Goodson

    Republican pontificating:”there is nothing in the bill about labor, this is another Democrat lie;” “all the Democrats have to do is agree to the bill if they really want to restore the FAA; Democrats are causing this problem;” “the rural airports being closed down are being closed down for economic and business reasons, it has nothing to do with where they are located, so this is yet another example of Democratic politicking and whining.”

    So far I have heard only one commentator explain the union angle, but he did a good job: “and why do workers usually want to organize a union? Because their boss is acting like a jerk, which is exactly what Congress is doing now with the FAA; no wonder the workers want a union.” He went on to tell us how much the fiasco was costing taxpayers and the government in lost income, plus the lost wages—- but apparently no expense is too much for Republicans if you can kill a union.

  • glennbear

    He only worships the dollar not the good of the country. I posted about this FAA story in my diary several days ago and latest estimates place lost tax revenues at $1.2 billion dollars even if the legislation is passed immediately when congress returns from vacation. I am guessing the GOP suspends their deficit/debt/balanced budget ranting rhetoric when it is a question of their anti-union ideology being threatened. I must admit that I have a vested interest in this debacle since I am slated for a transcontinental flight in less than a week and the FAA being handcuffed has not been a calming thought. As someone else has said, a local equivalent would be if retailers raised their prices whenever VA had a sales tax holiday to capture that revenue for themselves.

  • After 19 clean extensions of the FAA authorization, it is completely irresponsible for Republicans in Congress to allow a partial shutdown of the FAA, resulting in 74,000 people going without a paycheck, the majority of whom are working to rebuild crumbling infrastructure at our nation’s airports.

    While Republican Members of Congress continue to draw their paychecks during vacation, this gridlock has thrown the household finances of 74,000 families, who must pay their mortgages and car payments, into peril.

    It is the height of hypocrisy to claim jobs as a top priority, yet be willing to furlough 4,000 workers without pay and sideline 70,000 construction workers dedicated to rebuilding our nation’s critical air traffic infrastructure. While they also claim to be fighting for reducing government spending, Republican tea party intransigence and petty political gamesmanship is costing the Federal Government $200 million each week as shutdown endures.

    Republicans in Congress should do the right thing and pass a clean extension of the FAA authorization until a larger FAA bill can be agreed upon.

  • SENATORS CALL ON SPEAKER BOEHNER TO USE PRO FORMA SESSIONS TO EXTEND FAA FUNDING, GET WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB

    Extending FAA authorization cannot wait until September

    Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (Both D-MD), with Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (Both D-NJ), and Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb (Both D-VA) have written Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), urging the use the pro forma sessions of Congress to extend the current FAA authorization, immediately putting tens of thousands of workers back on the job.

    Despite passing 20 short-term extensions previously, right now the House of Representatives is refusing to pass a straightforward extension to the agency’s funding authority. While Congress is on recess, 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees and approximately 75,000 construction workers remain out of work, held hostage to the demands of House Republicans.

    “We urge you to prevent a prolonged and devastating shutdown of an agency that is so vital to the expedience of U.S. commerce and the safety of the air travelling public. We stand ready to support immediate procedural action to prevent further delay in ending the FAA shutdown,” the Senators wrote. “If a unanimous consent agreement cannot be reached, we request that you immediately call Congress back into session, under regular order, to debate and vote on an FAA authorization extension to restore the full operation of the FAA and get America’s aviation professionals back to work.”

    The text of the letter follows (and attached):

    Congress must resolve the extension of the authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration immediately. We strongly urge you to take the opportunity during the current pro forma session of Congress to pass by unanimous consent a bill to extend the FAA’s current authorization. If a unanimous consent agreement cannot be reached, we request that you immediately call Congress back into session, under regular order, to debate and vote on an FAA authorization extension to restore the full operation of the FAA and get America’s aviation professionals back to work.

    The Federal Aviation Administration has effectively been shut down for thirteen days, resulting in the furlough of 4,000 FAA employees, issuance of stop work orders for more than 200 airport and aviation safety improvement projects that provide jobs for more than 70,000 workers, and the loss of an estimated $350,000,000 in revenues that support the maintenance, improvement and operational safety of our nation’s complex aviation system. To allow this shut down to last until Congress’ scheduled return in September would further harm our already fragile economy.

    We urge you to prevent a prolonged and devastating shutdown of an agency that is so vital to the expedience of U.S. commerce and the safety of the air travelling public. We stand ready to support immediate procedural action to prevent further delay in ending the FAA shutdown.  We look forward to working with you on this issue.

    Sincerely,

    U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

    U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

    U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg

    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

    U.S. Senator Mark Warner

    U.S. Senator Jim Webb



  • Of course, he has to do his ridiculous “both parties” shtick, when as usual, this is overwhelmingly the fault of only ONE party, the Republican’t Party.

  • It appears so.

    Under the arrangement, the Democratic-controlled Senate on Friday will pass by unanimous consent a bill the Republican-led House passed in July that temporarily allows the FAA to conduct its business and slashes $16 million from the budget for subsidies paid to rural airports.

  • CONNOLLY ON FAA STALEMATE: Applauds Apparent Funding Agreement

    Congress Must Pass Bill Now to Save Hundreds of Millions and Put Thousands Back to Work

    WASHINGTON – Congressman Gerry Connolly today applauded President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid for working out an apparent agreement to allow passage this week of a House-passed FAA funding bill to put 4,000 FAA employees and tens of thousands of construction workers back to work and return $200 million a week in airline fees to the federal government.

    Connolly said he hoped the Senate can use unanimous consent rules to pass the legislation.  “Both bodies can wrangle over the contentious issues that are stalling the FAA bill when they return to Washington in September, but right now we need to pass some funding to put FAA airport safety inspectors and 70,000 other workers back to work,” he said. “These FAA workers and airport construction workers are not getting paid, their jobs aren’t getting done, and the taxpayers are being robbed of $30 million a day.

    Connolly praised the FAA airport safety inspectors who are using personal funds to continue to travel and do their jobs without pay.  “I applaud their dedication to public service, but it is shameful that they are required to reach into their own pockets to keep our airports safe.

    Connolly criticized Republican leadership in both Houses for holding up the legislation to push for new restrictions on the right of airline workers to organize and to seek additional flight slots at Washington National Airport.  “It’s ironic that the same crowd that preaches budget cutting was willing to let the federal government lose hundreds of millions of dollars and leave tens of thousands of airport workers without paychecks to advance their political agenda.

  • VADEM

    are running this country.