Press Release

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What They’re Saying

Last week, contractors across the country were told to stop work on critical airport modernization projects after Congress failed to pass legislation giving the FAA the authority necessary for work to continue.  Dozens of “stop work orders” were issued for major projects designed to build and modernize control towers and other aviation infrastructure from coast to coast.  Construction workers, engineers and planners were told not to come to worksites across the country after the FAA was forced to issue stop work orders on projects ranging from the construction of new air traffic control towers to the rehabilitation and modernization of air traffic facilities.  Nearly 4,000 FAA personnel, many needed to oversee various aspects of these projects, were furloughed beginning on July 23.  The Association of General Contractors estimates that as many as 70,000 construction workers are unable to work because of Congress’ inaction. Stopping work on these projects could significantly increase the ultimate costs of construction for taxpayers.                                     

“Since 2007, lawmakers have been unable to reach agreement on a broad measure to finance the Federal Aviation Administration, so they have passed 20 temporary ‘extensions.’ Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty. But, as of 10 days ago, Congress couldn't even agree on another extension. Compromise […] can't come soon enough. Like spoiled children, members of Congress have stamped their feet and scored their points while other people pay for their inaction. If the lawmakers were back in school, they'd deserve to be in the time-out corner.”
--USA Today, August 2, 2011

“The FAA is “another victim of partisan politics in Congress... And here we are. A prolonged halt to needed airport modernization is not in the country’s interest.”
--Washington Post, July 26, 2011

“Now Congress has managed to bring much of the Federal Aviation Administration to a standstill… locally, needed expansion and resurfacing projects at Orlando's two commercial airports could atrophy mirroring the inertia of Republican and Democratic congressional leaders who can't — or won't — move their way around the labor issues and subsidies for rural airports that separate them. Pathetic.”
--Orlando Sentinel, July 27, 2011

“The F.A.A. has also had to furlough some 4,000 workers. Needed airport construction projects — to maintain runways, build new traffic control towers and upgrade other facilities — have been halted across the country. The only good news is that the air traffic control system is still working because traffic controllers are paid from the Aviation Trust Fund, which still has a positive balance.”
--New York Times, July 27, 2011

“At a time when jobs are scarce and the construction industry is ailing, this is the worst time possible for a halt in funding…The real problem is Congress’ inability to iron out partisan disputes, a failure of governance at the most basic level…These are serious issues, but surely reasonable lawmakers can come to an agreement without shutting down a vital government agency.”
--Miami Herald, July 27, 2011

“The way the FAA shutdown has come about is anything but good government. And it could damage the fragile economic recovery… Federal lawmakers need to step up and continue funding for the agency.”
--The Denver Post, July 28, 2011

“Americans are frustrated with our congressional representation, and holding the world's best air travel system hostage magnifies just how inept and ineffective Washington has become.”
--Charleston Daily Mail, July 26, 2011

“One of the greatest strengths of the U.S. economy has long been its transportation system… But how much longer will that be true if petty political differences can't even be put aside long enough to keep an agency that is critical to that system on the job?”
--Reno Gazette Journal, July 26, 2011

“Congress’ failure to act and pass a short-term extension is preventing critical improvement projects from getting off the ground – projects that support and create good-paying jobs in Colorado and across the country.”
--The Denver Post, July 28, 2011

“Failure to pass a clean extension bill is needlessly putting Americans out of work in a fragile economy.”
--The Sacramento Bee, July 29, 2011

“Pass an extension, and get to work on negotiations for a new, long-term FAA authorization. Failure to make a deal represents nothing less than a failure to govern. Yeah, we know ... what else is new?”
-- The Herald, July 28, 2011

“…It is simply outrageous that members of Congress would put an ideological argument above the important work the FAA does… And how, as our nation sluggishly continues to try to recover from the recession, can you throw 4,000 FAA employees, and an unknown number of contractors, out of work? They are all just victims of the current political climate, where an inability to compromise has become an inability to govern.”
--Press of Atlantic City, July 29, 2011

“…The inability of Congress to reach a compromise on raising the nation’s debt ceiling isn’t the only example of how partisanship and, dare we say, sheer incompetence is getting in the way of conducting the people’s business. Not to mention interfering with its much-repeated pledge to put America back to work. That became crystal clear this past weekend, when the Federal Aviation Administration was forced to furlough roughly 4,000 workers…”
--Nashua Telegraph, July 28, 2011`

“Congressional squabbling is blocking reauthorization of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. As a result, $2.5 billion in airport improvement projects have been halted and about 4,000 FAA workers have been furloughed. The issues ought to be resolved quickly... Essential transportation services should not be held hostage in the meantime.”
--The Detroit News, July 29, 2011

“Unlike the debt ceiling standoff, with its competing claims of trillions in cuts, the FAA impasse involves only a tiny slice of the federal budget. Yet its effects are plain -- workers furloughed, construction stopped -- just to make a misbegotten point.”
--The NV Daily, July, 28, 2011

“Such sorry decision making shows how out of touch politicians are with average Americans. Jobs are the No. 1 concern across our great nation and Congress effectively killed public and private jobs by failing to reauthorize this [FAA] law.”
--The Billings Gazette, July 29, 2011

“Of course, a better solution would be for Congress to end its stalemate over FAA funding, which boils down to a dispute over union organizing rules. In addition to the ticket tax mess, the clash has sidelined nearly 4,000 FAA personnel in already uncertain economic times. With the larger debt crisis looming, Congress should extend the FAA’s funding, and leave the partisan labor dispute for another time.”
--The Boston Globe, July 30, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011