On a vote of 361-41, the House of Representatives passed the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (H.R. 1765), a bill to ensure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can end furloughs of air traffic controllers by making more responsible spending cuts elsewhere.
“This legislation underscores that the delays airline passengers have faced were entirely avoidable,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “Had the Administration come to Congress in a timely fashion and requested authority to transfer funds, there would have been broad bipartisan support for avoiding delays altogether. Instead, the administration opted to create a sequestration spectacle inconveniencing millions of airline passengers.”
In February, Issa asked 17 federal agencies to identify alternative spending cuts to sequestration. The Department of Transportation is among the 16 agencies that have not responded. Yesterday, in a joint letter with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., Issa requested internal Department of Transportation documents related to the political nature of the FAA furloughs.
The joint letter requests the Department of Transportation produce the following information by May 9, 2013:
1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the implementation of sequestration at the FAA, including but not limited to all instructions and guidance given to FAA officials regarding how to apply budget adjustments under sequestration.
2. All documents and communications between or among employees, agents, or contractors of DOT or FAA and employees, agents, or contractors of the Executive Office of the President referring or relating to the implementation of sequestration at the FAA.