While Congress goes on a five-week vacation, FAA employees are left furloughed or paying to work
“The House Republicans’ insistence on attaching anti-worker provisions to an aviation bill has brought about a terrible stalemate that is hurting the economy. From day 1, House GOP leaders admitted openly — almost proudly — that they were doing this to gain ‘leverage’ toward a larger goal — undermining worker rights.” — Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said in a statement
The teaparty Republicans are leaving DC without releasing all of their hostages:
WASHINGTON — The failure of Congress to authorize a budget for the Federal Aviation Administration has put some 4,000 agency employees and tens of thousands of contractors temporarily out of work. But even some FAA workers who haven’t been furloughed find themselves in a peculiar financial jam.
Roughly 40 FAA inspectors have been asked to continue working despite the stoppage because their jobs are important for air safety. Yet since Congress hasn’t allocated money to the agency, these employees have to cover their own travel expenses until the shutdown is resolved. Although their wages and expenses will eventually be recouped, these workers will end up covering work-related credit charges — and possibly interest — until funding is freed up.
[…] Babbitt and transportation secretary Ray LaHood had urged the Senate to pass a bill Tuesday before the chamber breaks for recess and lawmakers head home, leaving thousands out of a job until September. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asked her colleagues to pass a House bill without its most controversial elements, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) objected to Boxer’s request.
Largely lost in the all-consuming debt ceiling debate, the FAA shutdown is now closing in on two weeks. The agency hasn’t had a long-term funding plan since 2007, instead relying on a series of short-term extensions, the last of which expired July 22.
[…] Weatherby, who normally works at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey, said the irony isn’t lost on him that congressional leaders might take flights home for recess without passing an FAA bill.
“All I hear is jobs, jobs, jobs out of Washington, and here they are to put us out of work,” said Weatherby, who works on cybersecurity issues.
Weatherby, 43, said the furlough has put serious financial strains on his family. Although his wife continues to work her job with Atlantic County, the two have to support not only themselves but her elderly parents as well. Weatherby said he’s already started dipping into his savings and doesn’t know how long it will last. His colleagues have started using their vacation time and have been told they should start applying for unemployment.
“It’s getting desperate at this point,” he said. “The senselessness of all this is amazing.”
I blame the dumbasses who
support insist on this behavior from their politicians — the teaparty base. These people seem to imagine a rightwing fantasy world without unions and middle-class wages, where the poor and elderly grow some boot-straps, where the wealthy pay no taxes, and where government at all levels is the size of a 7-Eleven.
In that world, future generations will live in burrows and forage for twigs and bugs off a sun-baked Hellscape, and every night they’ll do the tell to ‘member the gone-back days when people paid taxes to build a civilization and working people organized so that huge corporations might treat them fairly.