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Obama's Fiasco Aviation Administration

- April 25, 2013

Calling Obama's Bluff On Sequestration, The FAA, And Political Gamesmanship

OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS INSIST THEIR HANDS ARE TIED ON THE FAA FURLOUGHS IN SPITE OF GROWING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY

Bloomberg Government Found That The FAA "Has More Than Enough Air Traffic Controllers To Manage Furloughs Without Flight Delays." "The Federal Aviation Administration has more than enough air traffic controllers to manage furloughs without flight delays, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of the agency's staffing data." (Matthew Hummer, "FAA Has Room For Furloughs Without Flight Delays: BGOV Insight," Bloomberg Government , 4/24/13)

  • Bloomberg Government : "The FAA, With The Consent Of The Controllers' Union, Could Keep Sequestration From Affecting Flights By Targeting Furloughs At Airports With Excess Numbers Of Controllers, But The Agency Has Declined To Pursue That Strategy." (Matthew Hummer, "FAA Has Room For Furloughs Without Flight Delays: BGOV Insight," Bloomberg Government , 4/24/13)

The Wall Street Journal : Despite Proposals To Cut Less Essential FAA Expenditures, "Making Smart Choices About Federal Sending Would Spoil The Fun Of Creating Flight Delays And Then Blaming Republicans." "Capitol Hill Republicans say the White House is free to make other cuts instead. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster suggests the FAA first take a whack at the $500 million it's spending on consultants, or perhaps the $325 million it blows on supplies and travel. In case there's any doubt about the President's ability to prioritize, at least two GOP Senators, Jerry Moran and Roy Blunt, have written bills to clarify Mr. Obama's authority to make sensible spending decisions. He's not interested, and Senate Democrats have blocked such reforms. Making smart choices about federal sending would spoil the fun of creating flight delays and then blaming Republicans." (Editorial, "Flight Delays As Political Strategy," The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/13)

  • An FAA Employee Said "Whether In HQ Or At The Field Level It Is Clear That Our Management Has No Intention Of Managing Anything. The Only Effort That I See Is Geared Towards Generating Fear And Demonstrating Failure." "'I am disgusted with everything that I see since the sequester took place,' another FAA employee wrote. 'Whether in HQ or at the field level it is clear that our management has no intention of managing anything. The only effort that I see is geared towards generating fear and demonstrating failure.'" (Editorial, "The FAA Strikes Again, The FAA Brags," The Wall Street Journal , 4/24/13)

Given That Biden's Office Has Found A Way To Implement The Sequester Without Furloughs, "Perhaps Biden Could Offer The President, Or The FAA, Some Advice On How To Save Money Without Forcing People Out Of Work." "One executive branch leader has found a way to make the cuts without forcing people out of work: Vice President Biden. Like most of the federal government, the office of the vice president is subject to across the board spending cuts, but an administration official tells me Biden's office has been able to do what the FAA - and president's own staff - have been unable to do: make the required spending cuts without furloughing any employees. The VP's office, I am told, is not furloughing anybody and not requiring any staff to take pay cuts. They have found other ways to make the required budget cuts. The VP's office won't say how they have made the cuts. In contrast, the president's staff is facing furloughs beginning in early May. The FAA started furloughing air traffic controllers on Sunday. 'The sequester affects everyone in the White House office' Carney said today. 'There will be furloughs effective with the first pay period in May as I understand it.' Perhaps Biden could offer the president, or the FAA, some advice on how to save money without forcing people out of work." (Jonathan Karl, "Sheriff Joe Biden Avoids Furloughs," ABC News, 4/23/13)

OBAMA IS UNDER GROWING PRESSURE FROM ALL SIDES TO CEASE THE SEQUESTER SCARE TACTICS AND MAKE MORE TARGETED CUTS TO THE FAA

Obama And His Administration Are "Under Growing Pressure" From Both Sides Of The Aisle To Ease The Impact Of The FAA Cuts In Order To Ensure Minimal Public Disruption. "Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place. The disclosure came as sentiment grew among Senate Democrats as well as Republicans for legislation to ease the impact of the cuts on the FAA, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held talks with key senators." (David Espo and Jim Kuhnhenn, "White House Says It's Open To Fix On FAA Furloughs," The Associated Press , 4/24/13)

Chicago Tribune : " Easy, Or So The President's Men And Women Figured: Cue The Air Controller Furloughs! Let's Stall Some Flights On The Tarmac!" "So, what could the administration do to make a reduction of barely 1 percent of actual federal outlays - less than $45 billion of this year's roughly $3.8 trillion - turn citizens against Republicans who oppose more tax increases? Easy, or so the president's men and women figured: Cue the air controller furloughs! Let's stall some flights on the tarmac!" (Editorial, "Hostages On The Tarmac!," Chicago Tribune, 4/24/13)

  • Chicago Tribune : "The Furloughs Reflect Panic…" "The furloughs reflect panic: Having exaggerated their early predictions that the sequester's small reduction in spending growth would seriously affect Americans, many Democrats are hell-bent to pre-empt those Americans from drawing two logical conclusions: If one level of cuts is this painless, then maybe we should make ... more cuts to expenditures. And while we're at it, maybe we should ignore the politicians who told us that if Washington lowered the spending growth curve ... the Earth will fly into the sun." (Editorial, "Hostages On The Tarmac!,"Chicago Tribune, 4/24/13)
     
  • "We Note That, Except For Some Party Leaders Who Have No Choice But To Back Their President, Not Many Democrats Are, Pardon The Phrase, Flying To His Side." (Editorial, "Hostages On The Tarmac!," Chicago Tribune, 4/24/13)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Said "My Hope Is The Administration Will Do Administratively What We Think It Has The Legal Authority To Do Anyway" With Regards To Making The FAA Cuts More Manageable. "McConnell spoke on the Senate floor shortly after Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Republican Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas) rolled out a bill to deal with another part of the FAA sequestration: looming cuts that would close nearly 150 air control towers at smaller landing fields in June. …Blumenthal said he takes the White House at its word, even if he thinks it can act. 'My hope is the administration will do administratively what we think it has the legal authority to do anyway,' Blumenthal said." (Michael McAuliff, "FAA Furloughs: Senators Call Airport Delays Political," The Huffington Post, 4/23/13)

NBC's Tom Brokaw Said The Administration Is Presenting A Worst-Case Scenario Tactic On The Sequester And Flight Delays, Trying To "Put It Out There And Terrify People." NBC's TOM BROKAW: "I don't have to tell you or Joe or Mike and we have all been covering politics for a long time. The favorite tactic is worst-case-scenario: put it out there and try to terrify people." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 4/24/13)

THE FAA BUDGET IS HIGHER EVEN WITH THE SEQUESTER'S CUTS THAN THE BUDGET OBAMA PROPOSED FOR THE AGENCY IN FY2013

During FY2013, The FAA Has Been Operating Under FY2012 Appropriations - As Mandated By The Budget Control Act Of 2012 - Which Gave The Agency $15.902 Billion In Budget Authority. ("Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2014," U.S. Department Of Transportation, 4/10/13, p. 8; Richard Kogan, "Congress Has Cut Discretionary Funding By $1.5 Trillion Over Ten Years," Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/8/12)

Sequestration Would Cut A Total Of $637 Million From The FAA Budget For FY2013. ("OMB Report To The Congress On The Joint Committee Sequestration For Fiscal Year 2013," Office Of Management And Budget , 3/1/13, p. 44)

Because The Sequester Went Into Effect, The Total Funding For The FAA For The Remainder Of FY2013 Will Be $15.265 Billion. ("Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2014," U.S. Department Of Transportation, 4/10/13, p. 8; "OMB Report To The Congress On The Joint Committee Sequestration For Fiscal Year 2013," Office Of Management And Budget , 3/1/13, p. 44)

Obama Only Requested For $15.172 Billion To Fund The FAA In His FY2013 Budget. ("Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2013," U.S. Department Of Transportation, 9/28/12, p. 2)

  • Thus, The FAA Budget For FY2013 With The Sequester Cuts Included Would Exceed The Amount That Obama Requested For The FAA For FY2013 In The First Place, To The Tune Of $93 Million. ("Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2014," U.S. Department Of Transportation, 4/10/13, p. 8; "OMB Report To The Congress On The Joint Committee Sequestration For Fiscal Year 2013," Office Of Management And Budget , 3/1/13, p. 44; "Budget Highlights Fiscal Year 2013,"U.S. Department Of Transportation, 9/28/12, p. 2)

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