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When the Republican-inspired sequester caused cuts in cancer treatments, in jobs for the blind, in scholarships for children whose parents were killed in war, in Head Start programs—the list goes on and on—Republicans barely made a peep. But now that their sequester is hitting regular people—apparently defined as healthy, sighted, civilian and well fed—in the form of increased travel delays at airports around the country, Republicans are mad as hell and they're not going to take it! And House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made that clear when grilling FAA Chief Michael Huerta during a hearing on Wednesday:
Yeah, damn you, you tool of the Obama administration, why didn't you tell us? Well, that is, except for when you told us at the press briefing held by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last February:
SECRETARY LAHOOD: Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco and others could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours because we have fewer controllers on staff. Delays in these major airports will ripple across the country. [...]
Q: What are you telling Republicans in Congress, Mr. Secretary?
SECRETARY LAHOOD: That this is going to have a huge impact on their constituents. Look, and I can tell you --
Q: When you break it down politically for them, what are you saying?
SECRETARY LAHOOD: That your phones are going to start ringing off the hook when these people are delayed at airports, and their flights are delayed 90 minutes, or their flights are cancelled, or their air tower is closed. [...]
So it’s not only the impact on the passengers, it’s the impact that it has on airports, control towers, people who work there, airports. And their phones are going to start ringing.
And apparently they are ... which means that this week at least, Republicans won't be declaring victory for their sequester.